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Posts Tagged ‘government’

06-12-13 *NMPF News* Mulhern Named President & CEO of NMPF Starting in 2014…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 12, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

NMPF Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern will take over as President & Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2014.

NMPF Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern will take over as President & Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2014.

Chief Operating Officer to Assume New Role Next Year; Kozak to Continue to Lead CWT Efforts

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) announced today that Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern will take over as President & Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2014.  Mulhern has been appointed by the NMPF Board of Directors to fill the position held by Jerry Kozak since 1997.  Earlier this year, Kozak had informed the Board of his desire to retire on December 31, 2013.

“We are very excited to have such a knowledgeable and capable leader at the head of our team in the coming years.  The importance of experience cannot be underestimated in a complex industry like ours,” said NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney, a dairy producer from Rogersville, MO.

“Jim’s impressive and extensive track record working on dairy issues made him the ideal choice to be the next President and CEO of NMPF.”

Mulhern joined NMPF in January 2013, and since that time has managed the communications, government relations, and membership functions of the organization.  His appointment as COO marked a return to NMPF; he had directed the organization’s government relations program earlier in his career.

A Wisconsin native, Mulhern came to Washington, DC, to work on Capitol Hill in 1983.  Following his service at NMPF in the mid-1980s, he returned to Capitol Hill to serve as Chief of Staff for Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl.  Mulhern also worked in senior management positions for Fleishman-Hillard, the Fratelli Group and Watson/Mulhern LLC.  During this period, he maintained a close relationship with the dairy industry and NMPF by working as a consultant on numerous projects.

“I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to lead a membership organization that has meant so much to me throughout my career.  I look forward to building further upon the relationships and successes of the past, but with a clear focus on addressing the challenges to dairy farming’s future,” said Mulhern.

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06-12-13 NMPF Commends Senate for Proceeding with Immigration Reform Bill…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 12, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

From Jerry Kozak, President and CEO, NMPF:

“We commend the Senate for deciding today to limit debate on its immigration reform measure, which demonstrates that they want to move forward and get a bill passed by July 4th.  America’s farmers need action on the immigration issue.  Thanks to the vote on cloture Tuesday, the chances are much better now that it will get resolved.

National Milk Producers Federation has made fixing the broken immigration system one of its highest priorities during the past decade.  Previous attempts at creating a comprehensive solution have failed.  And although we are still weeks away from passing immigration reform in 2013, today’s vote sends a strong signals that a critical mass of the Senate also believes that immigration reform is key national priority.

The Senate bill contains an entirely new visa program for dairy farm workers, one that NMPF has helped to shape.  This new approach is better for employers, better for employees, better for law enforcement, better for the economy….it’s better for America.”

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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06-10-13 *NMPF News* Senate Approves Farm Bill Containing Dairy Policy Reform…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 10, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

ARLINGTON, VA – For the second time in a year, the Senate has approved a comprehensive farm bill containing the dairy policy reforms backed by the National Milk Producers Federation.  The Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 by a vote of 66-27 Monday evening.

The measure contains the Dairy Security Act backed by NMPF and its farmer members, which creates a more effective safety net for dairy producers.

“On this strong bi-partisan vote, the Senate has again shown its determination to put politics aside, and work to implement new and better policies for America, including the country’s dairy farmers,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF.  “NMPF appreciates the determination of the leaders of the Senate, and in particular, the leaders of the Agriculture Committee, Sens. Stabenow and Cochran, for shepherding this historic legislation through the Senate.”

The bill is similar to the farm bill approved last June 21st by the Senate, especially where dairy policy is concerned.  The Dairy Security Act in the measure establishes a voluntary margin insurance program, allowing farmers to better manage the twin risks of milk price and feed cost volatility.  The measure also features a market stabilization program to improve the cost-effectiveness of the program, helping farmers and taxpayers alike.  The bill’s dairy title eliminates the MILC, price support, and dairy export incentive programs.

Demonstrating the strong momentum behind the Dairy Security Act there was no effort to significantly alter the dairy title during Senate consideration of the bill, Kozak said.

“We are very pleased at the progress made during this vital step in the Farm Bill process, but we also know that much work lies ahead,” he added.  “We encourage the House of Representatives to also support its Agriculture Committee-passed bill, and reject any dairy processor-backed amendment to undermine the bill’s effectiveness by removing the market stabilization program. Prompt action in the House is necessary so that farmers won’t spend the last half of this year like they spent 2012:  expecting a harvest that never materializes.”

The House of Representatives is expected to begin floor consideration of its farm bill next week.

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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06-07-13 *NMPF News* NMPF Thanks Nevada Governor Sandoval for Vetoing Raw Milk Bill…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 7, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

From Jerry Kozak, President and CEO, NMPF:

“The nation’s dairy farmers thank Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval for vetoing a state bill that would have permitted raw milk to be distributed statewide, and in so doing, siding with health experts who recognize the potential danger to consumers of raw milk.

“Thursday’s announcement by Sandoval cited the ‘significant public health risks’ represented by consuming raw milk, resulting in his veto of Assembly Bill 209.

“Gambling with the health of one’s family shouldn’t be one of Nevada’s hallmarks, and we appreciate Gov. Sandoval heeding that message.

“While 20 states prohibit the sale of raw milk to consumers, several states have loosened, or have considered loosening, restrictions on the sale of unpasteurized dairy products in recent years – despite the number of illnesses that have continued to be linked to the product.

“We urge other states considering similar legislation to look to the exemplary leadership demonstrated by Sandoval.”

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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05-24-13 US Congressman Gardner: Fed up with local FAA office, requests audit…

Posted by Brian Allmer on May 24, 2013

US Congressman Cory Gardner

WASHINGTON D.C. – After years of lost paperwork and now weeks of repeated attempts to contact the Federal Aviation Administration about negligence at the agency’s local office in Colorado, Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) is still waiting for a reply to his constituents, and he’s fed up with the lack of response. His office has been working on several cases where delays have been long and the FAA is unresponsive.

“This type of laziness and disregard from a government agency is unacceptable,” Gardner said. “My office has been trying to reach officials at FAA’s regional office and representatives in Washington D.C. to address a pressing economic matter that affects the state of Colorado. Every day they ignore us businesses are losing money and the state is losing revenue.”

Gardner is requesting that the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation conduct a full audit of the FAA’s regional office  to find out why it has been negligent in processing permit applications (including losing them) for commercial and agricultural usage. In a letter to the Inspector General, Gardner cites a recent example of FAA ineptitude that needs to be addressed: Read the rest of this entry »

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05-23-13 US Congressman Gardner: It’s time to build the Keystone XL Pipeline..

Posted by Brian Allmer on May 23, 2013

US Congressman Cory Gardner

Click HERE  or above to watch Rep. Gardner’s floor speech

Transcript of Rep. Gardner’s speech on building the Keystone XL pipeline: Read the rest of this entry »

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05-08-13 CO Governor Hickenlooper orders COGCC to review enforcement, fines…

Posted by Brian Allmer on May 8, 2013

Colorado Governor's SealDENVER — Wednesday, May 8, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed an Executive Order that directs the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to undertake a review of its enforcement program, penalty structure and imposition of fines. The review was ordered after HB13-1267 failed to pass the General Assembly.

“The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission should re-evaluate its enforcement philosophy and approach and strive to structure fines and penalties to ensure that operators comply with rules and respond promptly and effectively to any impacts from such violation,” the order says. “Appropriate penalties for violations of rules on those developing oil and gas constitute one tool available to the Commission. Penalties are designed to discourage violations and encourage prompt response in environmental or public health and safety concerns in the event that violations occur. For these reasons, Colorado requires strong and clear enforcement of the rules and assessment of fines and penalties accordingly.”

The order directs the COGCC to undertake a strategic review of its violation and penalty assessment program used to enforce its rules and state law. The COGCC is also directed to evaluate its rules, consistent with its statutory authority, regarding the adjustment of fines based on aggravating and mitigating factors so as to strongly deter violations and, equally strongly, encourage prompt and cooperative post-violation response and mitigation.

The COGCC must structure these adjustments so as to hold the oil and gas industry to the highest operating standards in the nation for protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including the environment and wildlife resources. In doing so, the order directs the COGCC is directed to: Read the rest of this entry »

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05-06-13 CO Governor Hickenlooper signs Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013…

Posted by Brian Allmer on May 6, 2013

Colorado Governor's SealDENVER — Monday, May 6, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper released this statement today after signing HB13-1136, the Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013.

“As a former small business owner, I know full well that discrimination in the workplace is the rare exception and not the rule in Colorado.

“Small business cannot thrive with red tape, needless bureaucracy and frivolous or harassing litigation. These are among the concerns the business community has raised with HB13-1136, the Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013.

“While our administration is very sympathetic to these concerns, we also believe that HB13-1136 has been crafted with safeguards against frivolous lawsuits and excessive damage claims. Moreover, we believe HB13-1136 rightly embraces employment discrimination remedies for companies with fewer than 15 employees that are recognized in most other states.

“Colorado law already prohibits small business employers from engaging in unfair employment or discriminatory practices, but employees who are victimized by these practices can seek only job reinstatement and back pay for their claims.

“HB13-1136 expands available remedies for workers to recover compensatory and punitive damages from employers who have intentionally engaged in discriminatory practices. The damage awards are limited to to $10,000 for employers with 1-4 employees and $25,000 for employers with 5-14 employees.

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04-19-13 *USDA-FSA News* Vilsack pledges to give back part of salary if USDA furloughs employees…

Posted by Brian Allmer on April 19, 2013

USDA Ag Secretary Tom VilsackAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Des Moines Register Tuesday he would give up part of his salary if the department were forced to furlough employees as part of government-wide across-the-board spending reductions known as sequestration.

“I’ve indicated that early in the process,” Vilsack said in an interview. “We’ll be doing what we have to do.” All cabinet secretaries make just under $200,000 a year.

The USDA is still assessing if it will need to furlough employees, or how many it will need to if it gets to that point. If Vilsack did choose to give up his paycheck, it wouldn’t be the first time. He said he once wrote a check back to Iowa when the state was reducing its budget and he was governor.

Vilsack said the USDA is in better shape than other cabinet departments because of cost-cutting, staff reductions and other efficiencies put in place during his time at the helm. During the last two years, the department has trimmed more than $700 million by modernizing and reducing waste. USDA also has seen its workforce cut by 8 percent since Vilsack became secretary in 2009.

Vilsack isn’t the only cabinet member who has pledged to give up a portion of his salary in solidarity with other federal workers because of sequestration.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry are among a handful of cabinet officials that have vowed to give some of their earnings back. President Barack Obama also has joined the fold by pledging to return to the Treasury 5 percent of his $400,000 salary.

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04-10-13 President Obama Proposes $11.9 Billion Budget for US Dept of Interior…

Posted by Brian Allmer on April 10, 2013

Office of the Secretary Dept of Interior LogoFY2014 Request Reflects Administration Commitment to Priority Missions, Jobs and Economic Recovery, Fair Return to Taxpayers, Cost Sharing 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget request of $11.9 billion for the Department of the Interior maintains critical funding for the Department’s core missions, while making strategic investments to sustain economic recovery and generate jobs, including vital funding for recreation and conservation programs, enhanced science to inform decision-making, domestic energy development and the advancement of American Indians and Alaska Native communities.

“The President’s budget sustains support for Interior’s core missions, underscoring the pivotal role that this Department plays as a driver of economic activity, especially for rural areas,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “We protect the public lands, water and wildlife that power local economies, drive tourism and define us as a people, while ensuring the responsible development of energy and mineral resources that strengthen our nation’s security.”

“The President’s proposal is a balanced one that makes smart investments and tough budget choices, and mandates greater efficiencies in order to fund the highest priorities,” Salazar added.

Interior’s programs and activities contributed an estimated $385 billion to the Nation’s economy in 2011 and supported an estimated 2.4 million American jobs. Energy and mineral development on Interior-managed lands and offshore areas generated more than $275 billion of this economic activity and supported 1.5 million jobs. Recreation and tourism on Interior lands contributed $48.7 billion and supported nearly 403,000 jobs.  Water supply, forage and timber activities, primarily on public lands in the West, contributed nearly $41 billion.

Interior programs continue to generate more revenue for the American people than the Department’s annual appropriation.  In 2014, Interior will collect an estimated $14.1 billion in royalties, rents, bonuses and fees from various sources, including energy and mineral development and recreational use of public lands.  Many of these receipts are shared among state, local and federal governments and also fund natural resource development and conservation programs.

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04-05-13 US Congressman Gardner to Introduce Reauthorization of FDA Program that Approves Generic Animal Drugs…

Posted by Brian Allmer on April 5, 2013

CLICK HERE to visit US Congressman Cory Gardner's Website

CLICK HERE to visit US Congressman Cory Gardner’s Website

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-04) announced today that he will be introducing legislation to reauthorize the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act (AGDUFA), which supports the testing and review of generic animal drug applications by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Colorado’s 4th Congressional District has over 2.8 million cattle and calves, 450,000 hogs and pigs, and close to 160,000 sheep and goats.  This legislation is essential to ensuring that producers in Colorado and throughout the country have access to safe and effective animal drugs to treat their herds,” Gardner said. “Colorado is also home to one of the nation’s premier veterinary medicine schools, Colorado State University. This legislation is critical to the work of veterinarians and animal care givers across the state and nationwide.”

Congressman John Shimkus (IL-15) is introducing companion legislation to reauthorize the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA), which deals with the approval process for brand name drugs. Gardner’s bill covers generic drugs. A legislative hearing on these bills will be held in the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on Tuesday, April 9.

The Center for Veterinary Medicine and the FDA are responsible for ensuring that animal drugs are safe and effective, and manufactured to the highest quality standards.  This legislation allows them to continue collecting user fees from drug manufacturers to pay for the program.

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Congressman Gardner is a member in the U.S. House of Representatives serving Colorado’s 4th Congressional District. He sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the following Subcommittees: Communications and Technology, Energy and Power, and Oversight and Investigations.

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03-15-13 *USDA News* Statement from Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan on Departure from USDA…

Posted by Brian Allmer on March 15, 2013

USDA_Deputy_Secretary_Merrigan

USDA Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan

USDA Statement LogoWASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan today made the following statement on her departure from the USDA:

“Today I am announcing that I will be leaving USDA. I am grateful to President Obama for the opportunity to serve as Deputy Secretary and be part of his leadership team. I also want to thank the US Senate for its unanimous confirmation and the many members of Congress, particularly Chairman Leahy, with whom I have worked closely to ensure support for USDA programs.

It has been an ambitious first term. From implementing the 2008 farm bill, improving school meals, expanding opportunities for American farmers, spending countless hours in the White House situation room, to shepherding USDA budgets through challenging times, it has been an honor to play a small part in history.

I hope that during my tenure, I was able to help open USDA’s doors a little wider, inviting new and discouraged constituencies to participate in USDA programs.

With Secretary Vilsack at the helm, aided by very talented and dedicated USDA employees, I am able to leave fully confident that, USDA will thrive and continue to improve its service to the American people.”

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03-04-13 Inside the RMFU with Education Director Jennifer Luitjens Bahr…Scholarships, Camp Counselors & Summer Leadership Camps…

Posted by Brian Allmer on March 4, 2013

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) March 4th, 2013 - Joining the BARN and the Colorado Ag News Network by telephone is  Education Director Jennifer Luitjens Bahr with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union in to discuss several topics including:

To listen to the entire interview with RMFU’s Education Director Jennifer Luitjens Bahr, click the mp3 audio link below…

030413_RMFU-Bahr_Scholarship-SummerCamp_8m29s

To learn more about Rocky Moountain Farmers Union – CLICK HERE

To learn more about the National Farmers Union – CLICK HERE

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