02-22-18 Syngenta seeks to award students through scholarship program

Syngenta empowers ag students to be the future

  • $20,000 in total awards available
  • Applications now being accepted until May 25, 2018

GREENSBORO, N.C., USA, February 21, 2018 – Syngenta invites eligible university students to apply to its annual Syngenta Agricultural Scholarshipprogram. Applicants are asked to share how they became #RootedinAg and how they will benefit today’s and tomorrow’s world as future leaders.

“We are excited to continue the Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship program this year and look forward to hearing how each student’s passion for ag took root,” said Vern Hawkins, Regional Director CP NA. “Because these young men and women are the branches that will grow to shape our industry’s future, we are confident they will strive to reach new heights.” Continue reading

02-22-18 Colorado Horse Development Authority Offers New Colorado Equine Microchip Program

Colorado Horse Development Authority offers new solution to reunite horses and owners separated by natural disasters or theft

New Equine Microchipping Program will give horse owners peace of mind 

February 22, 2018, Brighton, Colorado: Over the past decade, Colorado has endured a number of devastating forest fires and floods which resulted in emergency evacuations and horses becoming displaced from their homes and owners. The Colorado Horse Development Authority (CHDA) is responding with a voluntary solution to help reunite owners with their horses. The CHDA has joined forces with Microchip ID Systems, Inc., an ISO-certified microchip manufacturer, to offer a special kit for horse owners. Each kit contains a Microchip and  full enrollment into the Equine Protection Registry™, a nationwide database with live customer service. Any veterinarian or disaster team will be able to read a participating horses’s microchip and then contact the Registry for owner information. Owners will be able to control their data at all times and can display an owner certificate and the horse’s picture on mobile devices. Continue reading

02-22-18 Download the NFU Convention App…

March 3-6, 2018

Download the NFU Convention App

We hope you’ll be able to join us at the National Farmers Union 116th Anniversary Convention, March 4-6, 2018, at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.
We’re excited to announce we have a  mobile guide for you to use on Guidebook! Get the guide to access the most up-to-date information about our event, including schedules, maps, speakers, local attractions, and more.
Get our guide here: https://guidebook.com/g/nfu2018
Android and iOS users:

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02-22-18 NFU Needs Your Help to Get the 2018 Farm Bill Fully Funded…

NFU Needs Your Help to Get the 2018 Farm Bill Fully Funded

The Farm Bill is the most important and comprehensive piece of food and farm legislation in the United States. It is critical not just for family farmers and ranchers, but also for consumers, rural communities, and the environment too.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 22nd

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 22nd

Canadian Ag Minister Promoting Ag Trade in California

Canada’s top agriculture official is promoting trade between the U.S. and Canada in California this week. Canada says Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay is traveling to California to promote the Canada-California economic partnership, and to highlight the strengths of Canada’s agriculture trade with the United States. Minister MacAulay previously visited the United States in January, speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention. The visit comes as negotiations continue regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement. MacAulay is using the trip to California to promote the importance of NAFTA business on both sides of the border. In a news release announcing the trip, MacAulay said: “We’re keen to continue working with our NAFTA partners to deepen our economic relationship and strengthen trade between our great nations.”

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Republicans Deliver Letter to Congressional Leadership Calling on Section 199A Changes

A group of Republican lawmakers Wednesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for changes to Section 199A in the tax code. The group of more than 80 lawmakers says the changes will restore the competitive balance in the agricultural marketplace. Led by Iowa Representative David Young, the group says the changes “are necessary to restore the equity in grain marketing and set co-ops and other independent businesses on a more level playing field.” The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act unintentionally created a tax advantage for producers who sell to cooperatives instead of private and independent businesses. The letter says any remedy should retroactively restore the competitive marketplace for producers and replicate the benefits co-ops and farmers received under Section 199, before the enactment of Section 199A. The letter says the current Section 199A has resulted in a dramatic competitive imbalance impacting numerous agricultural value chain stakeholders including grain handlers, feed mills, seed companies, ag retailers, biofuels producers, banks, livestock marketers and dairy processors.

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Efforts to Move Northey Block Continue

Iowa Republicans took a strike at Senator Ted Cruz of Texas this week, saying his hold on the nomination of Iowa’s Bill Northey to the Department of Agriculture will harm his political standing. As Cruz continued his attack of the Renewable Fuel Standard Wednesday, speaking at Philadelphia Energy Solution’s so-called anti-ethanol rally, the Iowa Republican Party warned Cruz that continuing the hold of Northey would risk him losing political support from Iowa. Cruz won the Iowa Caucus during the 2016 presidential campaign. Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said: “Cruz has entertained this political position far too long, and it’s becoming increasingly harmful to both Iowans and the agricultural industry at large.” Northey, the Iowa agriculture secretary, is staring down a March 16th deadline to either file for re-election for his state post or remain in limbo on Capitol Hill, according to Politico. Meanwhile, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he is circulating a letter to other senators to gain support that would overcome Cruz’s filibuster of the nomination.

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Joint Ventures in Dairy Increasing

As the dairy industry evolves, companies across the U.S. are looking to capitalize on increasing milk production through international joint ventures. A new report from CoBank says that while the U.S. has heavily invested in milk production, Europe and other regions that faced production constraints focused their effort and investment on technology for the processing sector. And, in 2017, many U.S. dairy companies and international partners collaborated to capitalize on each other’s strengths. CoBank says many cooperatives lack the available capital to take on new and costly processing facilities, noting that a cheese manufacturing plant can cost between $300-500 million, while many international processors see the possibility of diversifying their offerings both in the U.S. and globally. A Cobank researcher says: “The international dairy industry sees the U.S. milk supply as strong and reliable and they see opportunity in the U.S. consumer.”

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How Potential ADM, Bungee Merger Would Impact Farmers

The possible merger of ADM and Bungee could decrease marketing outlets for farmers as the companies would combine operations. Chad Hart of Iowa State University told DTN-The Progressive Farmer this week that, however, unlike mergers in the seed business, there still is a fair amount of competition in crop marketing. Hart says there are “plenty of marketing outlets” independent from ADM and Bungee. And, for the broader ag economy, Hart says such a combined company could result in improved efficiency in moving commodities from the farm to end users. The move won’t move grain prices, however. The speculation of a potential merger between the two grain handling giants continues, while both companies offer little detail or comments regarding a merger. ADM, known as Archer Daniels Midland, is reported to be engaged in talked to take over Bunge. ADM reported $60.8 billion in annual net sales in 2017, while Bunge made about $45.8 billion in net sales in 2017.

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Failed Refiner Had Bigger Problems than Ethanol

The reason an east coast refiner filed for bankruptcy appears to be much deeper than the Renewable Fuel Standard that Philadelphia Energy Solutions, known as PES, is blaming. Senator Ted Cruz spoke Wednesday claiming the RIN market was the downfall of the refiner, but bankruptcy documents perhaps suggest otherwise. Filings show a rail facility built to accept crude oil for the facility often sat idle, even though the refiner was making quarterly payments to use the railyard. The refiner was paying $30 million per-quarter to the railyard owner, North Yard, which along with the refinery, is owned by the Carlyle Group. Reuters reports the deal guaranteed lucrative payouts to Carlyle regardless of whether the refinery benefitted from the arrangement. When oil market conditions made the rail shipments unprofitable, the refinery took heavy losses while investors continued to collect large distributions for two years, collecting at least $594 million from PES before it collapsed. Refiners without the necessary blending facilities, such as PES, are required to purchase regulatory credits, known as RINs, from firms that do such blending. The refiner, however, failed to pay a large portion of that obligation, and still owes the Environmental Protection Agency about $350 million.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 21st

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 21st

Senators Urge Trump to Rejoin TPP

A group of Republican Senators is urging President Donald Trump to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The 25 lawmakers, including many from western and farm states, encouraged Trump to “work aggressively to secure reforms that would allow the United States to join the agreement” according to Politico. In a statement, the group says: “An improved TPP would therefore bolster and sustain the economic growth America has experienced over the past year,” growth they say was facilitated by regulatory reductions and tax cuts enacted by the Trump Administration. The effort is led by Senator Steve Daines of Montana, who says the group “is committed” to expediting the trade nominees needed to rejoin TPP on the Senate floor. Trump sparked a glimmer of hope of the U.S. rejoining the trade pact when he said he would consider rejoining the deal if it was changed to be made beneficial to the United States.

Judge Dismisses Arkansas Dicamba Lawsuit

A judge in Arkansas has dismissed a lawsuit by Monsanto seeking to block the state’s ban of dicamba herbicides from April 16th through October 31st. Arkansas enacted the ban after receiving nearly 1,000 complaints last year about the weed killer drifting onto fields and damaging crops not resistant to the herbicide. In dismissing the case, the judge cited a state Supreme Court ruling last month that said the state Legislature can’t waive Arkansas’ immunity from lawsuits, saying the state Supreme Court ruling prevented the lower court from deciding on the case. Monsanto says the state can’t claim immunity since the company wasn’t seeking monetary damages. Attorneys for the Arkansas Plant Board argued the company hadn’t proven the state acted illegally or unconstitutionally, so the state was immune from the lawsuit. Arkansas Assistant Attorney General Gary Sullivan said during the hearing: “They just don’t like the decision the Plant Board made,” according to the Washington Post. Monsanto did not say whether it would appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

USDA Seeking Dismissal of OTA Lawsuit

The Department of Agriculture wants a federal district court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the department’s delay of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. USDA claims it’s challenger, the Organic Trade Association, “lacks standing because it pleads no facts” in showing the delay has resulted in the suffering of its members because of the USDA action, according to the Hagstrom Report. In response to the request, the Organic Trade Association says it believes USDA seeks the dismissal “to avoid explaining to America’s organic producers and consumers why it is blocking necessary rule clarifications and the strengthening of organic production practices.” The Organic Trade Association calls the delays of the final rule by USDA “unlawful,” and says the group “won’t accept unending delay and thin explanations,” adding “we expect a federal judge won’t either.”

Fertilizer Institute Issues Annual Industry Report

The Fertilizer Institute 2017 State of the Fertilizer Industry report shows a continued investment in nutrient management and stewardship, among other things. Organizers say the annual report, which is part of the organizations stewardship and sustainability programs, quantifies the industry’s performance record on environmental, economic and social indicators. The report also documents the fertilizer industry’s contribution to meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry innovation and infrastructure, along with climate action. The report shows the fertilizer industry invested nearly $1 million in 4R Nutrient Stewardship research to strengthen best management practices and seek solutions that reduce nutrient loss to the environment. The report also shows the industry captured and reused 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a savings equivalent to taking nearly two million cars off the road for an entire year, along with investing $4.3 billion to advance innovation, improve infrastructure, and enhance sustainable production of fertilizer. Finally, the report states the fertilizer industry is two times as safe as peer industries.

USDA Temporarily Expands Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance

As Puerto Rico continues to recover from the 2017 hurricane season, the Department of Agriculture will extend temporary nutrition assistance to the island. A grant from USDA is providing eligibility for increased nutrition assistance through the Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Program beginning March first. The grant comes from the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, and delivers an additional $1.27 billion. The funds allow Puerto Rico to expand assistance to additional households and increase the benefit amount for current and new participants on a temporary basis. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the grant “fulfills the Administration’s pledge to support the recovery” of Puerto Rico. The nutrition assistance program in Puerto Rico is different from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program operated in the United States and operated as a block grant. Through the grant, Puerto Rico has the flexibility to create a plan to provide temporary benefits for victims of the hurricanes in a way that best suits the needs on the island.

Plant-based Protein Eaters: It’s About Taste

New results from a research firm shows U.S. adults who eat plant-based proteins do so for taste above all other factors. Research firm Mintel reports 52 percent of adults surveyed say taste is the top reason for the choice, outranking diet concerns at ten percent, animal protection at 11 percent, the environment at 13 percent and even health at 39 percent. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the research was based on responses from more than 1,800 U.S. internet users aged 18 or over that eat plant-based proteins. The study also indicated that 46 percent of Americans agree that plant-based proteins are better for you than animal-based options. However, Mintel senior analyst Billy Roberts notes that overall consumption of plant-based proteins remains low. The Mintel survey showed that 67 percent of Americans agree that meat is essential to a balanced diet and 51 percent believe a meal is not complete without meat.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-20-18 USS Colorado To Be Commissioned

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)

USS Colorado To Be Commissioned

By Commander, Submarine Forces Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. – The newest Virginia-class attack submarine, USS Colorado (SSN 788), will be commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, Mar. 17, 2018.  It will be the 15th Virginia-class attack submarine to join the fleet.

As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities. Colorado is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of Special Operations Forces (SOF), strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.

Colorado is a part of the Virginia-class’ third, or Block III, contract, in which the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce acquisition costs. Colorado features a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs) each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

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GROTON, Conn. (Dec. 3, 2016) A panorama composite photograph compiled from several images shows the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus delivering remarks during the christening ceremony of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class Armando Gonzales/Released)

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02-20-18 CSFS: Late Winter the Best Time to Prune Trees

CSFS: Late Winter the Best Time to Prune Trees

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Feb. 20, 2018 – Late winter, from mid-February through early March, is the best time to prune most trees. Trees are still dormant at this time of year and, unlike in early winter, wound closure will be rapid if pruning occurs just prior to the time new growth emerges.

“Pruning trees during the late dormant season reduces impacts on tree health, and builds a strong structure for our community trees in the long term,” said Keith Wood, urban and community forestry manager for the Colorado State Forest Service. Wood says that although some elms, maples, birch and walnut trees may visibly exude sap if pruned in the late winter or early spring, this should not harm the tree.

The CSFS offers the following tree pruning tips: Continue reading

02-20-18 Inside the BARN/FarmCast Radio with Culver’s Jessie Kreke: FFA Essay Contest, Thank You Farmers Project and more…

FFA Essay Contest ends April 6th, 2018, at 5 pm CST / 4pm MST

Inside the BARN/FarmCast Radio with Culver’s Jessie Kreke: FFA Essay Contest, Thank You Farmers Project and more…

Jessie Kreke Culver’s Senior Marketing Manager

(BARN Media / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) February 20, 2018 – This week is National FFA Week and Culver’s Restaurants are celebrating it in a big way!
Joining FarmCast Radio and the Colorado Ag News Network is Jessie Kreke, one of Culver’s senior marketing managers, Jessie WELCOME inside the BARN…tell me more about the launching of its 4th Annual FFA Essay Contest, part of the Thank You Farmers Project…

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More about Jessie Kreke
Kreke is a senior marketing manager for Culver’s Franchising System, the franchisor for over 640 Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers restaurants. Her areas of expertise range from website best practices to digital promotions, social media and local restaurant marketing. She also leads the Thank You Farmers cause marketing initiative and works with the National FFA Foundation as well as local ag organizations and Culver’s restaurants on fundraising for ag education. Kreke holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University. She grew up on a hobby farm outside Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, with horses, dogs, goats and cattle.

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE Continue reading

02-20-18 Matt Lepore resigns as Director of COGCC

Matt Lepore resigns as Director of COGCC

Lepore oversaw comprehensive upgrades to state’s oil and gas regulations, increased collaboration with local governments, major staff expansion and systemic improvements to the agency’s transparency

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore is resigning as director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to return to the private sector effective March 2 . Lepore was appointed director of the COGCC in August of 2012.

Under Lepore’s leadership, the COGCC comprehensively strengthened the state’s oil and gas regulations, expanded Commission staff to improve oversight of industry activities, amplified the role of local governments and dramatically increased the access and volume of regulatory data available to the public.

“Matt performed one of the most demanding jobs in state government. He did so with style and substance that provided calm over an area often at the center of controversy,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Matt always put safeguarding public safety and the environment first. Under his leadership, Colorado developed regulations that have been used as models across the country.” Continue reading

02-20-18 National Invasive Species Awareness Week Kicks Off February 26

National Invasive Species Awareness Week Kicks Off February 26

WESTMINSTER, Colorado – Ready to sharpen your knowledge about invasive species and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems?  You’ll have a great opportunity during National Invasive Species Awareness Week, scheduled for February 26-March 2, 2018.  The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) is among the sponsors of the weeklong event.

“Invasive weeds alone represent a multibillion dollar drain on our economy annually,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director of WSSA.  “It’s important to educate ourselves so we can take fast and appropriate action throughout the year to protect native species from unwanted invaders.”

Many learning opportunities are planned during the weeklong awareness event, offering lots of opportunities for becoming involved.

Attend a Capitol Hill Seminar Continue reading

02-20-18 Ardent Mills names Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Ardent Mills names Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Chris Meyerpeter experienced in leading innovative businesses

Denver, Colorado, February 15, 2018  Ardent Mills, the premier flour-milling and ingredient company, announces Chris Meyerpeter will join the company as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and member of Ardent Mills’ senior leadership team. In this role, Chris will lead the Information Technology (IT) function and will be responsible to drive Ardent Mills’ IT strategy, objectives and goals as well as provide innovative enterprise solutions.

“We are excited to announce Chris as the CIO of Ardent Mills,” states Dan Dye, CEO. “He comes to Ardent Mills with extensive experience in building and leading diverse teams to support innovative businesses.” Continue reading

02-20-18 Trump Administration works to give relief to Americans facing high premiums, fewer choices

Trump Administration works to give relief to Americans facing high premiums, fewer choices

Proposed rule to allow short-term, limited-duration insurance for longer periods providing increased choice at a lower cost

In direct response to President Trump’s October 2017 Executive Order, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury (the Departments) issued a proposed rule today that is intended to increase competition, choice, and access to lower-cost healthcare options for Americans. The rule proposes to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by allowing consumers to buy plans providing coverage for any period of less than 12 months, rather than the current maximum period of less than three months. The proposed rule, if finalized, will provide additional options to Americans who cannot afford to pay the costs of soaring healthcare premiums or do not have access to healthcare choices that meet their needs under current law.

“Americans need more choices in health insurance so they can find coverage that meets their needs,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices. The Trump Administration is taking action so individuals and families have access to quality, affordable healthcare that works for them.” Continue reading

02-20-18 There’s Still Time to Register for 2018 Governor’s Ag Forum

There’s Still Time to Register for 2018 Governor’s Ag Forum

February 20, 2018, Denver, Colo. – The 27th Annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is set to begin tomorrow, February 21, at 7:30 am. Registration is still open, and interested individuals can even register to learn about Colorado’s agricultural impact the day of the event. Register at GovernorsAgForum.com.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, February 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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, February 20th

Trump to Sit Down with Mexican President

The North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations will be just one of the topics President Trump will discuss with the President of Mexico when they meet in the next few weeks. Bloomberg says they plan to discuss the relationship between the two countries and several pending issues. The meeting comes after several months of sometimes contentious NAFTA discussions and Trump’s insistence that Mexico pays for a border wall. Officials from both countries met recently to discuss issues like trade, immigration, security, and energy. They also agreed to set up a meeting between the two presidents in the near future. Trump was scheduled to host Enrique Pena Nieto (Ehn-ree-kay Payn-yah Nee-eh-toe) in January of last year, but Pena Nieto canceled after a dispute erupted on Twitter over the border wall. It was during the presidential campaign that Trump first began to call NAFTA a horrible deal for America and pledged to withdraw if a new deal couldn’t be done. Trump indicated last month that he could be flexible with a deadline on completing NAFTA negotiations right before he repeated his threat to withdraw from the pact if the three countries can’t reach a deal that’s more “fair” to America.

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Immigration Debate in Congress Still Struggling

The Senate’s immigration debate ended on Thursday with no deal. Neither a bipartisan plan nor President Trump’s proposal had the required number of votes to pass. Every proposal considered couldn’t reach the 60-vote threshold. That leaves the undocumented immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in limbo and lawmakers unsure of what’s next in the debate. In the other chamber, House immigration hardliners are getting more uneasy as they continue to push for a floor vote on Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte’s proposal to reform the H-2A agricultural guestworker program. A Republican amendment aimed to enshrine the president’s four-part immigration framework, which would make cuts to legal immigration, was defeated by a wider margin of 36-60.House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows is calling for new leadership in the House Republican Conference. He’s also repeatedly criticized Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for not scheduling a floor vote. Politico says even if the bill got the 218 votes it needs to pass through the House, it’s unlikely to pass in the Senate.

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Legislation Designed to Save Pollinators Introduced in House

Representatives Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts introduced the Saving America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation is designed to protect the health of honey bees and other critical pollinators. Estimates are that the U.S. lost one-third of honeybee colonies between 2016 and 2017, with similar losses occurring in previous years. To help bring a halt to the trend, the legislation suspends the use of bee-toxic insecticides (neonicotinoids), which have been linked to the declining population of pollinators. It also would require the Environmental Protection Agency to do a thorough evaluation to make sure using these insecticides is not adversely affecting pollinator populations. Blumenauer says, “A healthy food system depends on healthy pollinators. To keep the status quo is like flying blind. We shouldn’t be using these insecticides when we don’t know for sure how they’re affecting pollinators. The EPA has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this in order to protect our pollinators.” McGovern says that protecting pollinators is essential to the sustainability of our nation’s food supply. Studies estimate that one of every three bites of food Americans eat is from a crop pollinated by bees.

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MN Students Want GMO Approval Process Streamlined

A group of graduate students at the University of Minnesota is asking Congress to streamline the approval process for GMO crops that produce food and fiber. A DTN article says the seven students are doing graduate work at the Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. They believe the regulatory hoops that companies need to jump through to commercialize new traits are slowing down innovation. In a letter to U.S. representatives, the students pointed out that it costs companies between $20 million and $30 million to get a new GMO crop from start to finish through the regulatory process. That’s a price tag that limits smaller companies from making inroads into the marketplace. The students say, “Each of us has numerous ideas about genetic modification that could be developed into startup companies and bring more competition in a marketplace that’s dominated by a few mega-companies that can afford the regulatory process.” The letter asks Congress to pass a bipartisan bill that funnels GMO fuel and fiber crops through either the USDA or the EPA, but not both.

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FTC Nominee Pledges to Look Closely at Ag Mergers

The Federal Trade Commission would take a look at past merger deals to see if regulators were too easy on the companies involved. That’s the promise of Joseph Simons, the White House nominee for FTC Chairman. Simons said during a Senate confirmation hearing, he would direct a formal study of closed deals, including some in the agriculture industry. He also said, if confirmed, he would police the conduct of big agribusinesses. He also pledges to sue if wrongdoing comes to the agency’s attention. U.S. agriculture has seen rapid consolidation in recent years, and U.S. regulators have mostly waved the deals through. If the federal government takes a more aggressive stance based on any information gathered as a result of a merger study, it would mark a new era of antitrust policy under Republicans. Simons is the co-chair of the antitrust group at the law firm Paul Weiss, and a former FTC antitrust official during the George W. Bush administration. There are more merger deals in the pipeline that will put antitrust regulators’ approach to the test. Bayer and Monsanto are still awaiting antitrust approval from the U.S.   

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History Channel Following Farmers for a Documentary Series

The agriculture industry typically looks at documentaries about American agriculture with more than a little trepidation. However, the History Channel says it’s putting together a documentary about American agriculture with no agenda in mind. The TV channel and BobCat Studios is working on an eight-part series tentatively titled “The American Farmer.” While the show is still in development, the current plan is for cameras to follow five farming families throughout the planting, growing, and harvesting seasons. The series will be filmed in locations across the country, ranging from New Hampshire to Tennessee to Alaska. Jeff Brick is in charge of the series for the History Channel. He says, “One of the things that BobCat Studio founder Thomas Beers likes to say is “most documentaries are told from a certain point of view, and those points of view rarely seem to be the farmers.” The production team recently spent time at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, trying to get a sense of what American farmers were about. Brick called farmers, “Heroic people who are gambling everything, risking everything every year, taking out huge operating loans, trying to control Mother Nature, and still put food on the table for all of us.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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Livestock Exchange, LLC Weekly Update…

Livestock Exchange logo

(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…

02-19-18 Livestock Exchange, LLC – Recap & Preview

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**********LE, LLC. ARCHIVES************* Continue reading

02-19-18 Culver’s to Award $15,000 in Educational Funds to FFA Chapters

Culver’s to Award $15,000 in Educational Funds to FFA Chapters

Restaurant Chain Launches Fourth Annual FFA Essay Contest 

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. – Feb. 19, 2018 – Culver’s is celebrating National FFA Week in a big way. Through its Thank You Farmers® Project, the restaurant will launch its fourth annual FFA Essay Contest on Feb. 19. The three winning essay writers will win $7,500, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, for their FFA chapters.

The FFA chapters are encouraged to use their prize money to support educational opportunities for their members, like attending the National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Oct. 24–27, 2018. FFA members can submit their essays at Culvers.com/essaycontest.

This year’s essay contest prompt is: Continue reading

02-19-18 Gov. Hickenlooper and USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach to highlight Colorado and American Agriculture at 2018 Forum

CO Gov. Hickenlooper and USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach to highlight Colorado and American Agriculture at 2018 Forum

Feb. 19, 2018, Denver, Colo. – The 27th Annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture features two leaders well-placed to highlight the state’s second largest economic driver.
Gov. John Hickenlooper will address Forum attendees during lunch on February 21. The governor will reflect on the state of Colorado agriculture, and help present the Colorado Agricultural Export Awards.
Also speaking will be United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. Under Secretary Ibach will share insights about Colorado’s and the United States’ global agricultural impact.
The full agenda can be found here., at GovernorsAgForum.com.
Registration is still open, and individuals are able to register the day of the event. Register here, at GovernorsAgForum.com.

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