Archive for December, 2010

Aways Right? Durango Herald Profiles J. Paul Brown

John Peel of the Durango Herald this week sat down with State Rep. Elect J. Paul Brown, and has written a superb profile of the soon-to-be legislator.Make sure to read the whole piece. Congratulations to J. Paul!

Brown, a La Plata County commissioner from 1989 to 1993, Ignacio school board member and Colorado Farm Bureau leader, wrestled over whether to run for the Legislature. He wouldn’t do it without Debbie behind him 100 percent, and at first she wasn’t. But then son Levi, 30, stepped up to run the ranch, and, one might say, John Adams spoke to him.

An HBO series about our second president underlined the sacrifices made to create this country. Plus, J. Paul and Debbie noted a similarity between their relationship and that of John and Abigail Adams. Both men lean on their wives for counsel. J. Paul even calls his wife “Abigail” at times.

“I realized how much they went through to bring us the freedoms that we have, and I thought, ‘I need to give,’” Debbie says. “I figured it was time for me to quit being so selfish.”

(Image, The Durango Herald)

Pacelle, Vick, and the Quote of the Year

By now you will have all heard about Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS, saying that convicted dog torturer Michel Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” HumaneWatch has followed the story and the fallout closely, first here and then here.The comment is preposterous of course and HumaneWatch wonders if Humane Wayne has gone completely crazy. There has been a lot of negative press for HSUS as a result and it is helping to raise awareness about just what the HSUS does with all their money.

The Daily Caller profiled the Pacelle/Vick comment in the larger context of exposing the lies HSUS shills on a daily basis. In a piece titled FoodPolitik: Farmers shouldn’t own animals, but Michael Vick can. Excuse me?, writer Rick Berman tells readers that the HSUS is NOT an umbrella organization for local pet shelters.

“We all want cats and dogs to find homes, and to not be abused. About 99.99 percent of us, for instance (HSUS’s president notwithstanding), understand that giving Michael Vick a pet will always be a risky proposition.

But it turns out that America doesn’t actually have a real “national” humane society. There simply is no big umbrella group that raises money for the pet shelter in your community. If you want to support your local humane society, you’re going to have to do it yourself.”

Also today, CFB Member Mark Hillman sat in as a guest host on 850 KOA’s Mike Rosen Show. His guest was David Martosko, the man behind Humane Watch. The pair discussed HSUS and their tricks extensively and callers responded well to the conversation. You can listen the the segment here, or click the play button below.

Make Plans to Attend FarmWife Project Meeting

The first meeting of the FarmWife Project will be Saturday Jan. 15, 2011 at the Colorado Farm Bureau Center. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and run to 3 p.m.

The workshop-style meeting will focus on writing, becoming an agvocate, and building relationships with women across Colorado agriculture.

If mountains stand in your way, let me know and we will arrange to have you join us via technology. The FarmWife Project is growing and a great way to get a jump on your New Year’s Resolutions. If you would like more information, please visit us at or email Rachel Vermillion at

See you in January!

Another CFB Member Appointed to AFBF Committee

Jason and his wife Rachel farm south of Limon where they raise wheat, sunflowers, proso, sorghum feed, grass hay, cattle and show pigs.

Jason Vermillion, Vice President of the Lincoln County Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors, has been appointed to the AFBF Swine Commodity Advisory Committee by AFBF President Bob Stallman. Vermillion, a fifth generation farmer, will represent the interests of hog producers in the western region of the United States throughout his two year term.

He and his wife, Rachel, recently won the Excellence in Agriculture award and will travel to the AFBF Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, in January to represent Colorado Farm Bureau in the national Excellence in Agriculture competition.

Vermillion is the second Colorado Farm Bureau YF&R members to be appointed to an AFBF Committee. Nathan Weathers was appointed to the AFBF YF&R Committee earlier this month.

USDA U-Turn on Roundup Ready Alfalfa

Despite a previous committment to full deregulation of biotech alfalfa, Sec. Tom Vilsack (right) is now entertaining the idea of releasing the crop with various restrictions.

Despite the USDA’s own proposal from last year, Sec. Vilsack’s department is now reversing course on deregulating Roundup Ready Alfalfa. According to the Department’s environmental review, the alfalfa was judged substantially equivalent to other varieties without red flags for regulators. But instead of taking the news as a green light to let the alfalfa on the market, as they have with other biotech plants like corn, USDA is waffling.

Now, the deregulation of Roundup Ready alfalfa could be accompanied by restrictions on seed production and, in some cases, cultivation of the hay itself, should USDA decide on implementing one of two preferred alternatives presented in a court-ordered environmental review of the crop.

The Wall Street Journal has strong words about the decision to “invite representatives from the biotech and organic industries to USDA in the coming days to discuss how the two farming methods may coexist.”

By suggesting that industry and activist groups negotiate compromises in advance of the final ruling on whether to deregulate, Mr. Vilsack is using the Department’s regulatory authority as leverage against businesses whose products are overwhelmingly regulated by USDA.

It gets worse. Mr. Vilsack’s authority in the regulatory decision-making process is based on the assumption of sound scientific data. But according to people who attended the meeting last Monday, the USDA Secretary told the assembled groups that science itself is subjective, and that he could have three different groups bring him three different supposedly scientific opinions.

Continue reading

Salazar Offered Ag Comissioner Job

According to the Daily Sentinel, U.S. Rep. John Salazar is close to accepting an offer from Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper to head the Colorado Department of Agriculture, two highly placed sources close to the Denver mayor’s transition team confirmed Thursday.

Roberts to be Ranking Member on Senate Ag

Sen. Pat Roberts, (R-Kan.)

It seems that Sen. Pat Roberts (R- Kan) will take over as the ranking Republican on the Senate Ag Committee. Current ranking member, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R- Ga.) is moving to the Senate Intelligence Committee according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R- Iowa).

According to Chris Clayton of DTN,

Roberts is a strong defender of direct payments, having effectively creating the program as House Agriculture Committee chairman for the 1996 farm bill. Wheat growers in his state are big backers of the program so shifting from Chambliss to Roberts as ranking member likely doesn’t create a huge ripple effect in policy shifts, at least in that regard.

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