Archive for February, 2011

Battle Over Beets Continues

Environmental groups failed to show that seed plants for Roundup Ready Sugar Beets would cause irreparable harm, a federal appeals court said Friday. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a  previous injunction that called for the destruction of the plants.

“We conclude the district court abused its discretion in granting a preliminary injunction requiring destruction of the steckling plants,” the court wrote. “Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that the … plants present a possibility, much less a likelihood, of genetic contamination or other irreparable harm. The undisputed evidence indicates that the stecklings pose a negligible risk of genetic contamination, as the juvenile plants are biologically incapable of flowering or cross-pollinating before February 28, 2011, when the permits expire.”

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State Legislative Update

Referred to the Voters!!! Victory for SCR – 001 (Ballot Measure Initiative Reform) successfully passed the full Senate and House this week with greater than 2/3rds support from both chambers in order to become a referred measure on the 2012 Ballot. Troy Bredenkamp, Exec. VP for CFB, testified as the voice for agriculture and rural Colorado on this measure in the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Farm Bureau would like to thank all those legislators that supported this measure which will help to strengthen the voice for rural Colorado in the initiative process.

Also successfully passing the House chambers this past week and being referred to the Senate were the following measures:

HB 1004 – Rep. Baumgardner’s Farm Truck Registration bill

HB 1083 – Rep. Swerdferger’s Hydroelectricity and Pumped Hyrdo bill

HB 1084 – Rep. Baumgardner’s Modify Late Vehicle Registration Fee bill 

HB 1093 – Rep. Bradford’s Special Mobile Machinery Ownership bill

HB 1111 – Rep. Sonnenberg’s CDA Livestock Confidential Data bill

HB 1192 – Rep. Coram’s bill to give CDOT authority to authorize state highways for travel with longer vehicle combinations

DEFEATED:   HB 1165 (Align County Treasurer Water Dist. Fees) was successfully killed this week (2/23) in the House Local Government Committee. CFB was working in opposition to this bill which would have allowed the county treasurer’s office to dramatically increase fees for their services to collect irrigation and drainage district assessments. There was testimony for willingness of a more appropriate increase in this fee; however, this bill would have caused an unreasonable fee increase for some of our irrigation districts across that state that would have seen their fees go from $100 to greater than $12,000.

The Weekly Links

Panel rules against homeowner who said fracking fouled well
The Denver Post

The controversial oil-industry technique known as fracking went on trial at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Tuesday — and fracking won.

Colorado Humane Lobby Day 2011
Does the First Baptist Church of Denver know it hosted a lobbying event for HSUS?

National FFA gets boost from Monsanto
A $1 million dollar investment by St. Louis based Monsanto Company will be used to help support 14 National FFA Programs in 2011.

Experts Bullish on Ag Industry at Governor’s Forum

In an upbeat and optimistic Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, speakers weighed in on what Colorado agriculture producers can expect from their industry in the future. This year’s theme was “Today’s Vision for Tomorrow’s Food System.”

In his remarks to the gathering, Gov. Hickenlooper said that he has learned much about the importance of agriculture and rural Colorado over the course of his campaign.

“I realized that rural areas are what gives Colorado its identity,” he said. “It’s the rural areas that make Denver, Denver.”

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Microbes Help Farm Kids Have Lower Asthma Rates

New research reveals that farm kids have lower asthma rates than city kids because they are exposed to a wide range of microbes. School-aged children in the studies who lived on farms were about 30 percent to 50 percent less likely to have asthma than non-farm children who lived nearby.

Farm kids were also exposed to more bacteria and fungi than the other children, according to the study appearing in the Feb. 24 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research shows that exposure to bacteria and fungi from environmental sources like dirt and animal hair early in life protects against asthma and allergies by helping the immune system develop normally.

Farm Program Cuts Not Part of Continuing Resolution

Congressmen walk down the steps of the Capitol on Saturday morning, capping an all-night session.

In an early Saturday morning vote, the House approved H.R.1, the continuing resolution to fund the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, that includes $60 billion in spending cuts and a number of amendments designed to impede President Barack Obama from carrying out his policies

Final passage came on a 235-189 vote just before dawn, after an all night-session and a week of debate where almost 500 amendments were considered. Amendments to put caps on farm program payments were defeated on direction from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), who said discussion on farm subsidy cuts should wait until the 2012 farm bill debate.

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Committee to Hold Oversight Hearing on Interior Department

Today I received the following notice, located below, from the House Natural Resources Committee. This issue is one of great inportance to CFB members because this order basically decalres Congress null and void when determining what is wilderness.

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