READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, March 27th…

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 Ag Subcommittee Holds Hearing on 2014 Farm Bill Implementation”

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a public hearing Thursday to examine the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill. Chairman Rick Crawford says while the legislation was drafted during a period of record-high prices – producers are now experiencing a staggering 43-percent drop in net farm income. Current conditions are going to test the farm bill and its ability to mitigate and respond to growing financial stress in farm country – says Crawford – who believes the situation calls for the bill to be implemented in the most farmer-friendly manner possible within the limits of the law. Crawford says the Agriculture Department needs to address the collapse in cotton prices due to actions by the Chinese government. He also called on Risk Management Agency Administrator Brandon Willis to ensure the margin coverage being developed works for rice growers.

With just a few days left for farmers to sign-up for Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage – Ranking Member Tim Walz says he hopes the hearing can also serve as a last minute sign-up reminder to anyone who has not yet made their decision. Walz says the 2014 Farm Bill paves the way for new crop insurance policies farmers can use to better manage their risk – which will be especially helpful for new and beginning farmers as well as crop growers.

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“Senate Votes Send Message About WOTUS”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says key votes in the Senate this week delivered a resounding message that the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule is flawed in substance and process. The Hill reports the Senate voted by a vote of 99 to 0 to include an amendment from Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan to establish a deficit neutral reserve fund on keeping the Federal Water Pollution Control Act focused on protection of water quality – and outlines what’s under federal jurisdiction to create clear, unambiguous exemptions for EPA. By a vote of 59 to 40 – Senators also passed an amendment from Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming to rein in the EPA. Both amendments would be attached to the budget resolution. Stallman says the senators indicated they will not tolerate outlandish regulatory actions that disregard established law – and by their action put federal regulators on notice that the rule is simply unacceptable.

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“Grassley Co-Sponsors Bill to Repeal Death Tax”

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is a lead co-sponsor of newly re-introduced legislation by South Dakota Senator John Thune – the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 – which would repeal the federal estate tax. Grassley says the appreciated value of land is phantom income. The value is locked in the asset – so Grassley says if there’s no intent to sell the land – there’s no real income tax other than the income the land actually produces – which is already taxed. Grassley says the estate tax doesn’t serve any purpose except sending more money to Washington, D.C. – which would be better spent on keeping up the family farm or creating jobs at a business. He says the only solution for ending the destructive nature of the death tax is its complete repeal.

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“Colleges, Universities Receive Grants for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs”

One-third of U.S. children are overweight or obese. On Thursday – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced 9-million dollars in USDA grants to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico – funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Vilsack says it is critical that we make the effort to help our children be healthy kids who develop into healthy adults. Fiscal Year 2014 Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area grants will go to California State University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, Colorado State University, University of Connecticut, Florida International University, University of Miami School of Medicine, University of Illinois, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, Duke University, Pennsylvania State University, Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, Tennessee State University, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas A&M University. For more information – visit NIFA dot USDA dot gov (www.nifa.usda.gov).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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03-26-15 US Senator Gardner Amendment Protecting Water Rights Passes Senate…

 Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) amendment to the Senate budget protecting state water rights was passed by a bipartisan majority Thursday night. The amendment passed on a 59-41 vote, and has been added to the Senate budget. The amendment would recognize the long-standing authority to manage water according to state law, and protect against federal takeover of water rights and permits.

RELATED STORY

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced today that he has introduced an amendment to the Senate budget which would protect privately held water rights and permits from federal overreach. Gardner’s amendment would recognize the long-standing authority to manage water according to state law and protects against federal takeover of water rights and permits.

“Coloradans know best how to manage their own water resources,” Gardner said. “The ability of Coloradans to rely on state recognized water rights has been the foundation of Colorado agriculture, small business, outdoor recreation and local economies since the formation of our state in 1876.  My amendment would protect states’ ability to govern their own water laws, and protect existing water rights and permits from any future meddling by the federal government.”

Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.  

B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515      Phone: (202) 224-5941

03-26-15 US Senator Bennet Amendment Would Extend Renewable Energy Tax Credits…

US Senator Michael Bennet color official photo-022513Windmills at SunsetWashington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet introduced an amendment to the Senate’s budget proposal that instructs Congress to extend expired and expiring tax credits for renewable energy. The tax credits should be extended for a reasonable period of time as a bridge until Congress completes its work on tax reform. 

“Colorado is a leader in clean and renewable energy, and our producers and manufacturers are looking for certainty from Congress,”Bennet said. “The production tax credit and investment tax credit for wind and solar energy have helped create thousands of jobs in our state. As we work on tax reform, we need to extend these credits to give the clean energy industry the predictability they need.”

Since coming to the Senate, Bennet has introduced several proposals to improve the tax code for the energy industry. In the absence of energy tax reform, he has pushed to extend the wind energy production tax credit that supports thousands of jobs in Colorado and across the country. Bennet also introduced a bipartisan bill that would allow solar companies to benefit from the investment tax credit as soon as they start construction.

SOURCE

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

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

Continue reading

03-26-15 Get Registered for the 2015 Protein Producer Summit in Steamboat Springs June 15-17…

CCA - Protein Producer Summit 2015

Monday, June 15 – CCA Committee Meetings, CCW Meetings, & JCCA Meetings

On Monday, members will engage in CCA committee meetings where their voices can be heard and policies that shape the future are formed. Be sure to submit any resolutions for the committees and nominations for the open board seats to the CCA office as soon as possible. The CattleWomen will also hold their executive committee and board meeting and general membership meeting on Monday. The lunch on Monday will include the Leopold Award presentation.

Tuesday, June 16 – Innovations and Technology Summit

The topic for 2015’s convention is “Innovations and Technology.” We will start off the day with breakfast in the trade show exhibit area. The featured speaker for the morning will kick off the Summit. The speaker is a recognized entrepreneur and has a background in agriculture. We will look toward the future using advanced technology in agriculture to set the stage for the morning’s forum. Next, two guest speakers will join in for a panel discussion. One of our panelists is from CSU and is at the forefront of agriculture and food innovation. Another panelist has already been successful at innovating new opportunities in agriculture. After lunch, we will move from Think Tank to Stock Tank, where we will create a spin-off of the popular television show “Shark Tank”. Three innovators will present their theories and ideas to the audience and it’s up to “titans of the industry” to vote on the best proposal. “From Innovation to Application” will follow in the afternoon, where two industry leaders will summarize the day with a session which will take innovative ideas that are already being applied into applications benefitting the livestock industry. The Junior Cattlemen will spend the day in educational workshops and offsite activities. The CCA Foundation and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust will also meet on this day. Tuesday night we will join to take a gondola ride up the mountain to a reception and banquet at the Steamboat Springs Ski & Resort including catching up with friends and taking in the beautiful views of the Yampa Valley.

Wednesday, June 17 – Current Issues Breakfast, CCA Business Session, JCCA Meetings & Report, & CLA Meetings

Wednesday will begin with our Current Issues Breakfast; when the Colorado Beef Council, Western Dairy Association, and Pork Producers Council will be on hand to give us their updates. This will be followed by the CCA business meeting; CLA council/issues meetings, membership meetings, and the CLA Past Presidents’ Luncheon. CCA’s board of directors will meet following their business session. Look for updates and current information in future email Bulletins.

CLICK HERE for more details

CLICK HERE to register

Protein Producer Summit Tradeshow and Sponsorship Opportunities Continue reading

03-26-15 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

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Greeley, CO    Thu Mar 26, 2015    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week, light demand being reported due to warmer weather and
light interest from feedlots and dairies.  Hay from the southern part of the
state is going into Texas.  According to the NRCS, regional snowpack levels are
being reported in Yampa and White River Basins at 77 percent, Upper Colorado
River Basin at 86 percent, Laramie and North Platte River Basins at 83 percent,
South Platte River Basin at 94 percent, Arkansas River Basin at 93 percent,
Upper Rio Grande River Basin at 75 percent, Gunnison River Basin at 74 percent,
and San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, San Juan River Basins at 67 percent.  According
to the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of western Colorado are moving from moderate
to severe drought and parts of Northeastern Colorado are changing from normal to
abnormally dry.  The rest of the state remains unchanged.  All prices reported
are FOB at the stack or barn unless otherwise noted.  Prices reflect load lots
of hay.

If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: http://www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas Continue reading

03-26-15 USDA Announces Grants for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs: $990k for CSU…

USDA seal logoColorado State University in Fort Collins, CO will receive $990,984 for CSU’s  HEROs Study (HEalthy EnviROnments Study), which seeks to impact young children’s healthy behaviors by incorporating their successes in improving willingness to try new foods and motor performance in preschool, and amplifying these effects by adding a powerful family component.

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA awarded $9 million in grants to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The grants are funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the flagship competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.

“One-third of the children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, making this issue one of the greatest health challenges facing our nation,” said Vilsack. “It is critical that we make the effort to help our children be healthy kids, and develop into healthy adults,” said Vilsack.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) made the awards through the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area. Fiscal year 2014 awards include: Continue reading

03-26-15 USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Bill Programs Approach a Critical March 31st Deadline…

USDA FSA CO logo(Denver, CO.) – March 25, 2015 — USDA Farm Service Agency Colorado State Executive Director Leland Swenson reminds producers that the final date to update yield history, reallocate base acres and elect the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) is Tuesday, March 31, 2015 “Farmers and landowners need to have this completed or a scheduled appointment with FSA by the end of March,” said Swenson.

These new safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill are critical for providing financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm’s current yield and base will be used. “For many producers this is the first opportunity since the late 1980’s to update their farms base and yield,” Swenson said. Continue reading

03-26-15 CAAA Op-Ed: Safety Concerns Regarding Drone Use in Agriculture…

03-26-15 NAFB News: “House Passes Budget Resolution”

nafblogobluegoldcopyThe House passed a budget resolution by a vote of 228 to 199 late last night – according to The Hagstrom Report. The House budget contains a provision directing the House Ag Committee to cut 1-billion dollars over 10-years from programs under its jurisdiction. The budget also contains a provision to turn the food stamp program into one run for the states. The Senate is expected to vote on its budget resolution today or early tomorrow.

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, March 26th…

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 Ag Subcommittee Holds Hearing on COOL”

The House Ag Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture held a public hearing yesterday (Wednesday) to examine the implications of potential retaliatory measures against the U.S. regarding Country-of-Origin Labeling. Subcommittee Chair David Rouzer of North Carolina says the threat of retaliation is severe – and Congress must act quickly to prevent irreparable damage to certain industries and the overall economy. After hearing from members of the ag and business communities – Rouzer says it is more apparent than ever that the committee must not only fully understand the potential consequences following the World Trade Organization decision – but be ready with a legislative solution. House Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway says COOL has been a failed experiment from the start – and now the economic damages the U.S. could face will be felt by all Americans – not just the ag industry.

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“NFU President Presents COOL Study Findings to House Ag Committee” Continue reading

03-25-15 US Senator Gardner Amendment Protects Water Rights…

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced today that he has introduced an amendment to the Senate budget which would protect privately held water rights and permits from federal overreach. Gardner’s amendment would recognize the long-standing authority to manage water according to state law and protects against federal takeover of water rights and permits.

“Coloradans know best how to manage their own water resources,” Gardner said. “The ability of Coloradans to rely on state recognized water rights has been the foundation of Colorado agriculture, small business, outdoor recreation and local economies since the formation of our state in 1876.  My amendment would protect states’ ability to govern their own water laws, and protect existing water rights and permits from any future meddling by the federal government.”

Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.  

B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515      Phone: (202) 224-5941

03-25-15 NCGA urges Congress to pass the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act…

NCGA News Release logoWASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2015) —  The National Corn Growers Association applauded the introduction today of legislation to create a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), will ensure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration remains the authority on food safety and labeling in the United States.

Additionally, by establishing federal standards around a voluntary GMO-free label, this bill strikes an important balance between providing consumers choice and clarity in the grocery aisle and protecting a technology that is vital to American farmers. Continue reading

03-25-15 Inside the RMFU with Jan Kochis: NFU Convention Recap and more…

To listen to the interview with RMFU’s Board Chair Jan Kochis click the mp3 audio link below… 

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Jan Kochis, RMFU Board of Director Chair from Matheson, Colo.  And Dist. VI.

Jan Kochis, RMFU Board of Director Chair from Matheson, Colo. And Dist. VI.

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) March 25, 2015  – Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is RMFU Board Chair Jan Kochis, discussing several topics including:

  • RECAP of the 113th National Farmers Union Anniversary Convention in Wichita, KS March 13-15
  • RMFU’s presence on Capitol Hill this week
  • Upcoming Events/Issues
  • Final thoughts

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a general farm organization that provides educational programs, cooperative business development services, and a legislative voice for family farms, ranches, and local communities. RMFU was formed in 1907 and serves members in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union & find out how YOU can become a member by visiting www.rmfu.org.

03-25-15 USCA Comments on COOL-Focused House Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing…

USCA logo new

USCA (March 25, 2015) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing, “Livestock & Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee-Public Hearing: Meat Labeling Requirements” as held by the House Agriculture Committee, Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.  The following statement may be attributed to USCA President Danni Beer:

“Today’s hearing focused on issues that have been the central argument of the anti-Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) organizations since the initial discussions began on COOL.  The continued reference to the detrimental economic affects that COOL has supposedly caused to both Canada and Mexico remain the central issue of this claim.”

“A recent study conducted by C. Robert Taylor, Ph.D., Auburn University Scholar and Professor, (click here herefor study), highlighted data not utilized in previous studies on this issue.  The data presented in Dr. Taylor’s study has confirmed the error in statements that claim COOL has adversely affected exports of beef to the U.S. from Mexico and Canada.” Continue reading

03-25-15 NMPF Applauds Introduction of Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act…

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Legislation Will Establish Labeling Guidelines to Help Farmers and Consumers

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation today praised the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives that would establish federal standards for the safety and labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

Under the bill, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the Food and Drug Administration will set standards for companies that wish to label their products as containing or not containing GMOs. The legislation was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). Rep. Pompeo introduced similar legislation in the House last year.

“Rather than create a confusing patchwork of state policies, the legislation would deal with this issue at the national level,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “It would improve clarity in foods carrying a GMO-free label by establishing uniform rules and a national certification program for foods that have been produced without bioengineering.”

GMOs have been proven safe by nearly 2,000 studies from the leading scientific bodies in the world, including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association. Agencies including the FDA, the U.S. Agriculture Department, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization have found no negative health effects from consuming GMOs. Continue reading

03-25-15 Farmers Union Officials Granted Audience with Pope; Vatican Leaders to Discuss Importance of Family Farming and Ranching…

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WASHINGTON (March 25, 2015) – Five Farmers Union state presidents and National Farmers Union’s (NFU) chief counsel were granted an audience with Pope Francis today following a weeklong series of meetings with Vatican officials and rural-based non-governmental organizations. Discussions surrounded the important role family farmers play in food security and the fact that most of the food produced in the U.S. is produced by family farmers.

Monsignor Peter Wells, assistant secretary of state for the Vatican, expressed concerns with the worldwide loss of family farmers, food security and environmental stewardship. “I’m pleased to hear the Vatican State Department’s belief that stewardship is ecumenical worldwide,” said Doug Peterson, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union. Continue reading