READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 18th

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, October 18th

National Livestock Groups Call GIPSA Withdraw a Victory

National livestock groups are hailing the Department of Agriculture’s withdraw of a GIPSA rule a victory. USDA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing it would withdraw the interim final rule under the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, known as GIPSA. Through submitted comments, USDA said a common theme of those opposed to the interim final rule was that it would lead to increased litigation. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association called the withdraw a victory for beef producers and consumers. The National Chicken Council says the rule “would have opened the floodgates to frivolous and costly litigation,” while applauding the USDA action. The National Pork Producers Council, which says it led the opposition effort against the interim final rule, said the organization was “very pleased” with the move.  NPPC says an Informa Economics study found that the 2010 GIPSA Rule would have cost the U.S. pork industry more than $420 million annually, more than $4 per hog, in added litigation costs.

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Canada “Flatly Rejects” U.S. Dairy Proposal

Wrapping up the fourth round of talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. proposed a dismantling of Canada’s dairy supply management system. Bloomberg reports Canada “flatly rejects” the proposal by the United States. The proposal would effectively kill Canada’s supply management system by fully eliminating tariffs on supply-managed products over ten years. President Donald Trump earlier this year called the system “unfair,” and used the system as part of his threat to withdraw from NAFTA. Canada’s government dismissed the U.S. dairy proposal, while the Dairy Farmers of Canada called it “outrageous.” The U.S. proposal, according to Canada officials, would effectively end supply management. Canada’s Agriculture Minister said to “deal with anything else is simply a non-starter.” Former U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman urged that the U.S. proposals be considered opening offers, saying “it’s a negotiation.”

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NAFTA Commodity Groups Unite to Urge Negotiation Success

U.S. commodity export groups, along with counterparts from Canada and Mexico, are reiterating their support for free trade. The U.S. Grains Council, along with the U.S. Soybean Export Council, National Sorghum Producers, National Corn Growers, and others, met with counterparts from Canada and Mexico last week. As round four of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations conclude, the groups continue to stress the importance of the agreement to agriculture. In a joint statement, the groups encouraged negotiators to “continue their participation in good faith” in the negotiations, and “produce an agreement that builds upon our ongoing success.” Round four of the talks in Washington, D.C. saw the introduction of agriculture proposals by the U.S. The groups point out that grains and soy trade between Mexico and the United States in 2016 represented more than $6.6 billion dollars with more than 90 percent of those ingredients consumed by the Mexican livestock industry.

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Initial Progress Made on U.S.-Japan Trade Issues

The U.S. and Japan in a joint statement said the two nations have made “initial progress” on trade issues. The statement comes as Vice President Mike Pence talked with Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister earlier this week. The Joint statement says some “initial progress” on bilateral trade issues such as lifting import restrictions on Japanese persimmons and Idaho potatoes, according to Politico. Meanwhile, U.S. beef producers were eager to see the talks begin to address Japan’s safeguard tariff that ratcheted up duties of imported frozen beef from 38.5 percent to 50 percent. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said long-term competitive market access to Japan is the “number one priority for the U.S. beef industry.” The statement from Pence and Japan said that: “Both sides committed to build on momentum in the dialogue to demonstrate progress in the near future.”

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EPA Ending “Sue and Settle”

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is touting a directive he signed this week to end the EPA’s so-called “sue and settle” strategy, a practice agriculture groups opposed. Pruitt issued an Agency-wide directive Monday to end the practice, a move he says means “the days of regulation through litigation are over.” Pruitt said the agency would “no longer go behind closed doors” and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups. Pruitt announced his intention to end “sue and settle” in March of this year. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes the “sue and settle” practice as when a federal agency agrees to a settlement agreement, in a lawsuit from special interest groups, to create priorities and rules outside of the normal rulemaking process. As an example, between 2009 and 2012, EPA chose not to defend itself in more than 60 lawsuits from special interest advocacy groups. The Chamber says these cases resulted in settlement agreements and EPA publishing more than 100 new regulations, including the recent Clean Power Plan.

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No “Skull and Crossbones” for GMO Apple Labels

The company behind GMO apples hitting the market later this fall says the apples won’t be labeled as containing GMO’s. The arctic variety apples developed by Okanagan(oh-can-naugh-gan) Specialty Fruits, an initiative started by an apple farmer, will instead include a QR code, as outlined in the GMO labeling bill that was passed by Congress and signed by then President Barack Obama. Neil Carter, founder of the company, said last week: “We didn’t want put ‘GMO’ and a skull and crossbones on the package.” The MIT Technology Review reports the product will be the first significant test of a GMO whose modification is meant to appeal to consumers, rather than help farmers increase production. The company plans to sell the apples as bags of pre-sliced fruit in up to 400 stores in the Midwest and Southern California at launch. Carter and his research cohorts used gene splicing to create a non-browning apple, the artic apple, to increase apple sales and reduce food waste. About 45 percent of fruits and vegetables grown are thrown away, according to the United Nations.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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10-17-17 RMFU President Dale McCall Says GIPSA Action Is “Simply Wrong”

RMFU President Dale McCall Says GIPSA Action Is “Simply Wrong”

A decision by the United States Department of Agriculture to withdraw the Farmer Fair Practices Interim Final Rule is the same as “kicking farmers when they have already been dragged down to the ground by difficult economic times,” says Dr. Dale McCall, president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “USDA was established to work for individual farmers and ranchers. Instead, USDA is working for the benefit of the meatpackers that control the markets by using their market control to step on producers.” Continue reading

10-17-17 NFU Deeply Disappointed By USDA Decision to Terminate Farmer Fair Practices Rules

NFU Deeply Disappointed By USDA Decision to Terminate Farmer Fair Practices Rules

NFU President Roger Johnson

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it would be terminating the Farmer Fair Practices Rule on Competitive Injury, a rule that would have provided the most basic of protections to American family farmers and ranchers as they endure increasingly concentrated markets and unfair treatment from multinational meatpackers.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

“It is deeply disappointing that USDA did not side with family farmers in the long-contested debate over rules for the Packers and Stockyards Act. The Farmer Fair Practices Rules offered a basic, yet important first step to addressing the unfair practice that family farmers and ranchers face in the extremely consolidated meatpacking industries. Continue reading

10-17-17 USCA Responds to GIPSA Rule Announcement

USCA Responds to GIPSA Rule Announcement

(WASHINGTON) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) responded to today’s announcement that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will withdraw the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Interim Final Rule regarding the Scope of Sections 202 (a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act.  The following statement may be attributed to USCA President Kenny Graner:

“USCA is disappointed in today’s announcement. The proposed and interim rules sought to maintain competition in the marketplace; withdrawing the rule is a win for multi-national packers and fails to put U.S. cattle producers first.” Continue reading

10-17-17 USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding for Underserved Groups and Beginning Farmers

USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding for Underserved Groups and Beginning Farmers

(Denver, CO), October 17, 2017 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) acting Executive Director Jenny Peterson reminds producers that FSA offers specially targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers and ranchers.

“Each year, a portion of FSA’s loan funds are set aside to lend to targeted underserved and beginning farmers and ranchers,” said Peterson. “Farming and ranching is a capital intensive business and FSA is committed to helping producers start and maintain their agricultural operations.” Continue reading

10-17-17 Inside the RMFU with Harrison Topp: Policy, Annual Convention, Innovation Fair & More

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) October 17, 2017  – Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Membership Field Representative Harrison Topp, discussing several topics including…

Listen to the interview with RMFU’s Harrison Topp… 

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To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union – CLICK HERE

10-17-17 As NAFTA’s Fourth Round of Negotiations Concludes, U.S. And Mexican Producer Groups Reiterate Support For Agreement’s Regional Benefits

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As NAFTA’s Fourth Round of Negotiations Concludes, U.S. And Mexican Producer Groups Reiterate Support For Agreement’s Regional Benefits

Washington, D.C. – A joint statement upon the conclusion of the fourth NAFTA negotiating round: Continue reading

10-17-17 Pork Producers Applaud Withdraw Of GIPSA Rules

Pork Producers Applaud Withdraw Of GIPSA Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 17, 2017 – The Trump administration today announced it will withdraw regulations related to the buying and selling of livestock, a move strongly commended by the National Pork Producers Council, which opposed the Obama-era rules. Continue reading

10-17-17 Conaway, Rouzer Praise Trump Administration’s Withdraw of Controversial GIPSA Rules

Conaway, Rouzer Praise Trump Administration’s Withdraw of Controversial GIPSA Rules

Washington, D.C.— Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (NC-07) issued the following comments in response to the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw a controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) interim final rule and take no further action on a complementary proposed rule released in the final days of the Obama administration:

 “After nearly a decade of battling partisan and contentious GIPSA reforms, America’s livestock, poultry and packing industries can breathe a sigh of relief. Today’s decision helps restore both Congressional intent and common sense by ensuring American producers have the freedom to market their products without the threat of frivolous lawsuits. I appreciate the Trump administration’s dedication to regulatory reform through the rollback of unnecessary and burdensome regulations like these. I am particularly thankful for Sec. Perdue’s leadership on this effort and look forward to working with him to ensure that other problematic regulations like the organic livestock rule meet the same fate,” said Chairman Conaway.

“Excessive regulations with questionable legal backing ultimately lead to a wave of lawsuits and to years of litigation. The withdraw of the GIPSA rule brings years of regulatory uncertainty in our livestock, poultry and packing industries to an end. I applaud the Trump administration, along with Sec. Perdue, for their hard work on behalf of rural America to roll back these cumbersome regulations,” said Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer.

Continue reading

10-18-17 National Pork Board Names USDA’s Dr. Craig Morris to International Marketing Post

National Pork Board Names USDA’s Dr. Craig Morris to International Marketing Post

DES MOINES – Oct. 17, 2017 – The National Pork Board today named Craig Morris, Ph.D., as its new Vice President of International Marketing. Morris is currently the Deputy Administrator over the Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a position he’s held since 2004.

For the past 25 years, Morris has held high-profile strategic leadership roles with the federal government, industry associations and in the private sector. He has extensive experience in international trade, shaping the country’s livestock marketing strategy and building comprehensive export programs that meet the needs of industry stakeholders both here and around the world.

“I’m honored to join the pork community in this important role, which I see as the perfect complement to my time at USDA,” Morris said. “I have been fortunate to serve the livestock industry for my entire career and I look forward to pouring that passion into developing a strategy to market U.S. pork products abroad – working to deliver increased value for America’s pork producers.” Continue reading

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 17th

NAFTA Talks Turn to Agriculture, Dairy

The U.S. wants to reverse Canada’s dairy supply management system as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation. U.S. negotiators centered on the agriculture chapter of NAFTA over the weekend, and proposed to reverse Canadian dairy pricing program that has undercut certain U.S. dairy exports to Canada. The text, which demands that Canada eliminates an industry pricing classification that lowered domestic prices for certain milk protein products to the minimum global price, was met with swift pushback, according to Politico. The proposal, called a “five-page attack” on Canada’s management system, also includes transparency requirements for Canada to report pricing decisions. A labor union representing dairy workers in Canada said the U.S. is “preparing a full assault on Canada’s supply management system.” The U.S. has long protested Canada’s system of tariffs and export limits designed to protect the domestic market, which is not part of the original NAFTA agreement.

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Axios: Capitol Hill Asking “When” will NAFTA Withdraw Notice Come

Canada and Mexico have both said they are not walking away from the North American Free Trade Agreement following hard-hitting proposals by the United States. However, online source Axios points out that folks on Capitol Hill are starting to ask “when” not “if” President Trump will issue a notice to withdraw from NAFTA. The U.S. hardball approach on dairy and automotive trade, along with the Buy American initiative, and others, has sources close to the negotiation saying “there’s no chance of a compromise solution,” unless U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer changes tactics. The White House has not denied that Trump and Lighthizer have discussed the six-month withdrawal notice, but say that doesn’t mean he’s moments away from doing so. Mexico and Canada, meanwhile, are not walking away from the talks, as both sides agree to take part in the negotiations “in good faith,” due to NAFTA’s benefits for both countries.

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Weed Scientist Has Doubts Over Dicamba Restrictions Effectiveness

The Environmental Protection Agency last week declared dicamba under it’s “restricted use” category, but a weed scientist from Illinois has doubts the new restrictions will be beneficial. Aaron Hager, a weed scientist and professor at the University of Illinois, told Reuters: “Nothing in these new restrictions addresses volatility, and that’s still an issue.” The EPA said Friday it would classify dicamba as restricted use, limit spray times and required wind conditions, along with requiring detailed record keeping of dicamba use. Under the requirements, certified pesticide applicators, or people under their supervision, will be allowed to spray dicamba in 2018. However, that restriction may not do much to reduce crop damage related to sprayings because many farmers and commercial applicators are already certified, according to experts. Monsanto and BASF, makers of dicamba-based herbicides, welcomed the EPA announcement. Growers across the U.S. said this summer that dicamba affected areas other than where it was sprayed, damaging millions of acres of crops that could not tolerate the herbicides.

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U.S. Pork Production Expanding

Rabobank predicts steady growth for the pork industry. A new report by Rabobank says increased production and additional processing capacity, and the likely improvement of margins, will help the U.S. pork industry remain in expansion mode through 2025. The report, “Steady Growth Ahead for the U.S. Pork Industry,” says domestic consumption is expected to grow slightly, but most of the growth should come in the form of exports. The report says exports are the “most important” component of demand for U.S. pork. To remain in profitable expansion through 2025, the report says the U.S. will need to increase pork exports by 400,000 metric tons. By 2025, researchers anticipate exports to increase by 100,000- metric tons to China, and more than 200,000 metric tons to Mexico, leaving the need to find additional markets for the remaining 100,000 metric tons.

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Governors Write Trump Regarding RFS

Four ethanol-state governors are expressing concerns regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard to President Donald Trump. In a letter Monday, the governors of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota, told the president they were concerned about “where the EPA’s proposed implementation of RFS policy is heading,” and its impact on farmers and the rural economy. The four Republicans urged the president to keep his campaign promises to rural America to support the RFS. The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a request for additional comments on reducing previously finalized volumes required by the RFS program and on using waiver authorities to further reduce biodiesel volumes. The National Biodiesel Board echoed the comments from the letter, saying the latest proposed cuts to the RFS volumes threaten jobs in rural America, along with hurting companies that have invested to comply with the RFS, and undermines energy security goals of the RFS program.

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Wildfire Impact to Linger for California Wine Country

Wildfires that spread through California’s wine country will leave a lasting mark on the industry and its tourism. The Sacramento Bee newspaper reports that the state’s wine industry in Napa and Sonoma counties faced the wildfires at the worst time of the year possible, as fall is a prime time for visitors, where tourism is a $3.2 billion industry annually. Wine country has bounced back quickly from previous disasters, including a 2014 earthquake and flooding a decade ago. But experts say the deadliest set of wildfires in California history could prove challenging for tourism promoters. On a positive note for the industry, a vast majority of grapes had been harvested by the time the fires broke out, and vineyard owners were able to truck their grapes and unfinished wines to other parts of Northern California for safekeeping. Just a handful of wineries have been outright destroyed, and even their owners were talking about getting back on their feet soon, according to the newspaper.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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10-17-18 Colorado FFA Foundation Announces 2018 Farm Credit-Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees

Colorado FFA Foundation Announces 2018 Farm Credit-Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees

Fort Collins, CO, October 16, 2017 – The Colorado FFA Foundation announced four inductees into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame. Mrs. Mary Lou Chapman, Arvada, Mr. Thomas Kourlis, Englewood, Dr. Lee Sommers, Fort Collins and Mr. Harry Charles Talbott, Palisade, will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in February 2018.  Friends, peers and business associates will recognize the four inductees during the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet, Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at the Renaissance Hotel, Denver. Hosted by the Colorado FFA Foundation, the banquet is held annually to induct members into the Agriculture Hall of Fame who have significantly contributed to Colorado’s second largest industry. A unique, multi-media presentation will highlight the life of each new inductee during the ceremony.

“We are proud to add four more outstanding individuals to the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame.  The selection pool was very competitive”, said Ed Cordes, Chairman of the Colorado FFA Foundation.  Continue reading

10-16-17 CSFS: Wood Utilization Experts Gather in Denver During National Forest Products Week

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The mission of the Colorado State Forest Service is to achieve stewardship of Colorado’s diverse forest environments for the benefit of present and future generations.

CSFS: Wood Utilization Experts Gather in Denver During National Forest Products Week

DENVER – October 16, 2017 – Although Colorado experienced a relatively moderate wildfire season in 2017, the current catastrophic losses faced by California and some other Western states highlight the need to address wildfire-prone forests on a regional basis. Yet an ongoing challenge to forest management in Colorado and throughout the West is finding profitable uses for the wood, or biomass, removed to make forests less susceptible to catastrophic wildfires.  Continue reading

10-16-17 Colorado Pork Producers announce Annual Meeting

CPPC In the News Header

CPPC announces Annual Meeting

October 16, 2017 – The Colorado Pork Producers Association announce their annual meeting and invite anyone who raises hogs in Colorado and their guests, to attend.  The event will be held November 20, at the Morgan County Fairgrounds in Fort Morgan, Colorado at 9:00 am to noon. Lunch will be served. We especially encourage any youth and leaders who are in hog producing projects to plan on attending.  Continue reading

10-16-17 Colorado Pork Producers seek Producers to serve as Board Members

CPPC In the News Header

CPPC seek Producers to serve as Board Members

The Colorado Pork Producers Council seeks candidates to run for four vacant positions on the CPPC Board of directors.  The election will be held November 20, 2017 at the Morgan County Fairgrounds, at the CPPC annual meeting.  The following is the criteria for membership and to run for a board position: Continue reading

10-16-17 EPA: Waters of the US: Announcement of public meeting date for agriculture Tuesday, Oct 17

EPA: EPA: Waters of the US: Announcement of public meeting date for agriculture Tuesday, Oct 17

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) will hold ten teleconferences to hear from stakeholders their recommendations to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Nine of the teleconferences will be tailored to a specific sector, see schedule below. One of the teleconferences will be open to the public at large.  The teleconference for input from the agriculture sector will run Tuesday, Oct 17 from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. eastern time.
In addition, the agencies will hold an in-person meeting with small entities on October 23, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.-11 a.m., and will accept written recommendations from any member of the public.

Continue reading

10-16-17 EPA: CSU’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program receives $300k in grant funding to develop tools to protect, manage and restore Colorado wetlands

EPA: CSU’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program receives $300k in grant funding to develop tools to protect, manage and restore Colorado wetlands

Inventory of Lake County wetlands will help inform restoration

(Denver – Oct. 16, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) at Colorado StateUniversity three Wetlands Program Development grants – each over $100,000 – to achieve multiple goals aimed at the protection of wetland resources. Through these grants CNHP will develop a multi-agency Colorado Wetlands Program Plan, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders and decision-makers to increase effectiveness and compatibility of multiple agency and programmatic approaches to protecting, conserving, and restoring Colorado’s wetland resources.

“Wetlands restoration is key to capturing pollutants that impact Colorado’s natural resources,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Understanding the current health of wetlands and where restoration efforts are most needed will help the many groups working toward the state’s healthy rivers, lakes and streams.” Continue reading

10-16-17 Inside the BARN with Farmers for America’s Filmmaker Graham Meriwether

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) October 16, 2017 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network is Graham Meriwether, Director, Writer, Producer, Cinematographer & Editor,  whose most recent project titled, “Farmers for America”, will premiere @ the 2017 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN at the end of this month.

  • Meriwether’s Background
  • Reasons behind making “Farmers for America” Documentary/Film
  • Features wide array of farmers/ranchers
  • Film Sponsorship & National Outreach Partners
  • Premiers @ the 2017 National FFA Convention This Month
  • Meriwether’s next Project
  • Final Thoughts

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Those comments from Graham Meriwether, Director, Writer, Producer, Cinematographer & Editor…to learn more about his latest project and film, “Farmers for America”, please visit www.farmersforamericafilm.com.

Watch the trailer here, and find out how you can host an upcoming screening at Farmers for America website, and you can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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