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The Weekly Links

Dairy industry ready to surge
Northern Colorado Business Report
To supply the new Leprino Foods plant soon to open in Greeley, Tom Haren, owner of Longmont-based AGPROfessionals LLC, said the number of dairy cows in the state will need to almost double.

New report shows even clean energy projects are dying in regulatory nightmares
The Daily Caller
While the administration has repeatedly pushed for the development of a renewable energy industry, its regulatory process is strangling clean energy projects before they even get off the ground.

The Foodie Takeover of Environmentalism
The American
In recent years, the locavore, foodie lifestyle has transmogrified from what it obviously is—a luxury—into a quasi-spiritual ideology resembling late-stage environmentalism.

U.S. Property Rights Protections Continue to Decline
National Center for Policy Analysis
According to the 2011 International Property Rights Index, overall the United States declined to 18th place in the world (from 16th in 2010 and 14th in 2007), losing out to top-ranked Finland.

State Legislative Update

The State Legislature is moving along well as we head into April and only 40 days left of the 2011 Legislative Session. However, the Joint Budget Committee still has no agreement on the State Budget for FY 2011-12 and therefore no ‘Long Bill’ has yet been released. CFB staff will be watching the Long Bill for any unexpected amendments.

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Shawcroft Testifies Before Congress

CFB President Don Shawcroft testified before the House Natural Resources Committee today in Washington D.C. During the hearing titled “Harnessing American Resources to Create Jobs and Address Rising Gasoline Prices: Impacts on Businesses and Families,” Shawcroft told the assembled Representatives that Americans are experiencing sticker shock at the gas pump these days, but high fuel costs are hitting America’s farmers and ranchers especially hard.

“Most Americans are feeling sticker shock caused by high gasoline prices when they fill their automobile’s tank,” Shawcroft said. “But there is no term in the English language to accurately describe what farmers and ranchers feel every time they put diesel in the tanks of their farm equipment.”

Shawcroft cited numerous examples of the economic impact currently experienced by farmers and ranchers. He said the cost just for refueling a typical tractor can be more than $1,000.

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NCGA: Billionaire Food Profiteers Wrong to Call Farmers Immoral

Remarks made last week by the chairman of Nestle about the use of corn for biofuels production were not only wrong but dangerous, the president of the National Corn Growers Association said.

“It is scandalous, ludicrous and highly irresponsible for the chairman of a global conglomerate that tripled its profits last year to talk about higher corn prices forcing millions into starvation,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “Perhaps if Nestle is so concerned about food prices, its board will consider putting more of their $35.7 billion in 2010 profits back into poor communities. Just their profits alone represent more than half the entire farm value of the 2010 U.S. corn crop.”

Schott was reacting to comments by Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe at a meeting last Tuesday of the Council on Foreign Relations. Schott also challenged Brabeck-Letmathe to take the time to study facts and figures before making ridiculous comments about an industry that he clearly knows little about, nor bothered to study up on.

Colorado on Fire

Fires raged across Colorado this week, fueling concerns about a repeat of the devastating 2002 fire season. On Thursday alone 11,000 new acres were burned in three separate fires east of 1-25.

A fire of more than 1,600 acres in Douglas County forced the evacuation of more than 8,500 people between Parker and Franktown. Farther out on the plains, the town of Karval was threatened by a 5,100 acre blaze and near Pueblo, a 5,000-acre grass fire forced the evacuation of about 600 employees at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. All of the fires were nearly contained by Thursday night.

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The 5,100 acre fire burns near Karval in Lincoln County. (Photos: Rachel Vermillion, Charles Hoffman)


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High Vegetable Prices Expected to Drop

High vegetable prices are expected to ease in the coming weeks as farmers send more produce to the supermarket.

Prices shot up nearly 50 percent in February due to cold weather that destroyed much of the vegetable supply. Lettuce in Arizona, tomatoes in Florida and other crops were impacted.

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