Archive for August, 2010

Colorado Egg Producers Tout Safety of State’s Eggs

Palisade peaches, Rocky Ford melons and Olathe sweet corn are just a few of the locally produced fruits and vegetables that have been tickling our taste buds this season. The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association, a membership organization representing seven family farms, would like to remind you that in addition to seasonal fruits and vegetables, there are main food staples – including eggs – which you can buy locally and enjoy all year round.

“Thinking about where your food comes and buying locally is certainly top of mind for everyone today, especially given the recent news regarding egg recalls,” explained Jerry Wilkins, president of CEP. “It is very important that consumers know that NO eggs produced in Colorado are part of this egg recall. On behalf of our local egg farmers, CEP is here to assure you that Colorado produced eggs are safe. As local farmers, we are part of the Colorado community and our focus is the safety and health of all Coloradans. All CEP producers have comprehensive, multi-faceted quality assurance and food safety programs in place and follow FDA guidelines for food safety. We encourage you to continue to support your Colorado egg farmers and buy local.”

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AgChat President Jeff Fowle: Social Media Growth ‘Amazing’

Social media hasn’t just hit the mainstream. It’s also hit the back roads and the back forty. Farm Bureau member Jeff Fowle, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher from northern California, said social media has become an important part of his daily routine.

“On Twitter currently I am almost at 23,000 followers and on an average day I reach between 900,000  and 1.3 million individuals,” Fowle said. “Of those, I expect approximately 30 to 40 percent actually see at least one of my tweets per day.  More people are getting involved creating a Facebook page, getting on Twitter, utilizing YouTube to explain why, what and how they put food on the plate. The growth has been amazing.”

California rancher and Farm Bureau member, Jeff Fowle

Fowle is president of the AgChat Foundation, a group that focuses on helping farmers and ranchers use social media technology to share their stories and make connections with people not involved with agriculture.

“We have relied too long on having others share our story and the face of the American farmer has been forgotten,” he said. “And I think it’s time to put a face back on the plate, and I think social media is one opportunity for us to make tremendous progress in overcoming that adversity.  More farmers and ranchers are getting their stories out to the public and there’s beginning to be more understanding.  It’s no longer an ‘us vs. them,’ but it’s a building of a bridge in the community between the farmers and the public that is getting stronger and stronger every day.”

CFB Releases South Platte Task Force Report

The Colorado Farm Bureau has released its final report of the South Platte River Task Force.

The South Platte Task Force was charged with the following:

to recommend and report to the CFB Board of Directors what can be done from a public policy perspective to increase water usage in the South Platte River Basin given the real and current parameters set forth by current Colorado water law including the 1969 law, the 1974 augmentation requirements and Colorado Supreme Court Decisions.

Several presentations were made to the board by individuals and organizations involved in the issues associated with both surface and ground water usage. Based upon these presentations and personal knowledge, several recommendations were made that would enhance the use of the water resources in the South Platte River Basin.

The final report contains these recommendations and can be viewed here.

Enviro Groups Admit Losing Global Warming Battle

As further evidence that the global warming movement has lost the battle, two rallies in support of Cap & Trade last week didn't draw crowds large enough to fill a gymnasium.

Leading environmental groups are admitting defeat in the climate change battle now that it appears Congress will not pass a climate change bill this year.

Last week, the environmental groups held two events in Wisconsin to rally support, but neither event drew enough people to fill a high school gym.

The Washington Post reports that a year ago the groups were at the peak of influence with the House narrowly passing a mammoth cap-and-trade climate change bill. But the sluggish economy and opposition from Farm Bureau and other groups now means that they have apparently lost the fight.

(Image: Up & Away)

Leading environmental groups are admitting defeat in the climate change battle now that it appears Congress will not pass a climate change bill this year.

The Washington Post reports that a year ago the groups were at the peak of influence with the House narrowly passing a mammoth cap-and-trade climate change bill. But the sluggish economy and opposition from Farm Bureau and other groups now means that they have apparently lost the fight.

Last week, the environmental groups held two events in Wisconsin to rally support, but neither event drew enough people to fill a high school gym.

Iowa Grand Champion Steer is a Clone

DTN reports that the 2010 Iowa grand champion steer was a clone of the animal that won the same event in 2008.   The crossbred steer was shown by Tyler Faber of Sioux Center, Iowa.  According to the DTN report, Faber’s father, David Faber, is president of Trans Ova, a livestock production company in Sioux Center.  The cloned steer was produced by Bovance, a joint venture between Trans Ova and the cloning firm ViaGen.

The winning steer at the 2010 Iowa State Fair 4-H Market Beef Show is a clone of the steer crowned champion at the Iowa State Fair in 2008

Iowa 4-H livestock superintendent Mike Anderson says show officials found out the animal was cloned on Friday, after the steer had won the grand champion award two days earlier.  Anderson says 4-H has no rule preventing clones from being shown—and he doesn’t think 4-H would create a rule on cloning because there’s no way for them to determine whether an animal is a clone.

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USDA Forecasts Lowest Food Price Increase Since 1992

USDA forecasts that the consumer price index for food will increase just 0.5 percent to 1 percent this year, the lowest rate since 1992. In last month’s forecast, USDA pegged the food price increase at 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

The lower food price inflation is attributed to a still moribund global economy. Because of the weak U.S. economy, higher commodity prices haven’t translated to higher food prices for consumers.

“The economy is weaker than what I thought in July,” said Ephraim Leibtag, the USDA economist responsible for the forecast. “Food companies are taking a wait-and-see attitude about passing along commodity costs.”

Colorado Ag Exports Up 27%

Colorado agricultural exports in the first half of the year rose 27 percent from the same period last year, to $508.9 million, state officials said Wednesday. This success exceeds the national ag export increase of 15 percent.

Colorado exports of meat, hides and skins; animal products such as milk, eggs and honey; miscellaneous food; and miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruit were all up.

“With continued efforts to open more global markets to Colorado and U.S. beef, we look forward to further increases in our beef exports,” Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Stulp said in a written statement.

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