Archive for July, 2010

Washington D.C. Recap

House of Representatives:

House Floor:

H.R. 3534-the Cutting Loose Energy and Resources Act. H.R. 3534 puts the 9.2 million jobs supported by American oil and natural gas at risk by raising taxes, blocking American energy development, continuing a moratorium on deepwater drilling and completely eliminating economic liability caps.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting this legislation would increase spending by $20.5 billion over ten years and would increase revenues by $22.2 billion over the same period.  Interestingly, CBO predicts over $14 billion in litigation costs alone stemming from the new energy tax in this bill.

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Colorado Farm Bureau Proud Membership Update

The Colorado Farm Bureau Proud Membership Campaign is well under way and as of June 1st 2010 we have 36 new memberships signed up by Colorado Farm Bureau members.

There is still plenty of time to engage in the campaign and win great prizes for your county and yourself!

This year we are again offering the Grab 4 for Farm Bureau challenge. Any county that signs up a total 4 producer members either by signing up a new or actively renewing a previous member from a non renewal list between August 1st and September 30th will be recognized at the CFB annual meeting membership awards breakfast and be eligible for a special prize.

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Cuban Trade Bill to be Considered in September

Congress isn’t expected to take action on Rep. Collin Peterson’s Cuba trade bill until September, when lawmakers return from the August recess.

“It’s great policy,” said AFBF trade specialist Chris Garza. Unfortunately the bill is caught up in the politics of the issue. There are still many members out there, particularly those from Florida, who see any easing of the embargo as a gift to the Castros. This is not the case. This bill is about increasing U.S. agricultural exports.

“This bill is not about opening up the U.S. market to Cuba. This bill is about [re]moving the restrictions that we have placed on our own farmers to be able to export to Cuba.  This is a gain-gain situation, a gain for U.S. farmers and a gain for the people of Cuba to be able to have quality food on their tables that comes from U.S. farmers,” Garza said.

DOW to Host Bear Meeting

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will host a round table discussion concerning the state’s bear problems. Topics will include Public Safety, Bear Damage, Bear Season Structures and Legislative Action.

The meeting will take place Saturday August 7th at the DOW Northwest Regional Office (711 Independent Ave, Grand Junction) from 9 to 11 a.m.

Beware of Experts

Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs imparts some words of wisdom when it comes to animal care and so-called “Experts”

Audit: NCBA Misused Checkoff Funds

The Executive Summery of the compliance review can be found here. It sums up problems that many ag groups have expressed concerns about finding. It appears those concerns are not unfounded.

The report states that “the exceptions and undetermined items reported clearly indicates that NCBA breached the financial firewall during the periods tested and that NCBA did not maintain sufficient documentation in many instances to adequately support the separation of expenditures between the policy side of NCBA and the checkoff side of NCBA.”

According to…

A routine compliance review indicated that the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has misused beef checkoff dollars, prompting further investigation, Cattlemen’s Beef Board Secretary-Treasurer Robert Fountain Jr. said today in a news release.

The review, conducted by CBB with the help of an independent accounting firm, included fiscal years 2008 and 2009 as well as the first five months of fiscal 2010, ended Feb. 28.  The review specifically tested overhead costs; employee time reporting as a basis for the allocation of salaries and benefits to the checkoff; travel expenses; costs of NCBA’s Federation of State Beef Councils division; and subcontractor selection procedures.

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USDA Announces CRP Sign-up Through Aug. 27th

USDA announced Monday that a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program will begin on Aug. 2 and continue through Aug. 27. During the sign-up period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land for CRP’s competitive general sign-up at their county or parish Farm Service Agency office.

The 2008 farm bill authorized USDA to maintain CRP enrollment up to 32 million acres.

Jim Miller, USDA undersecretary for farm and foreign agriculture services, made the announcement during a conference call with reporters. “America’s farmers and ranchers play an important role in improving our environment, and for nearly 25 years, CRP has helped this nation build sound conservation practices that preserve the soil, clean our water and restore habitat for wildlife,” said Miller.

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