Governor Appoints 5 to Ag Commission

Six Colorado residents have been appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to the State Agricultural Commission.

Thomas K. Cameron, Palisade, (Democrat), to serve from the Fourth agricultural district; Ernest D. Ford, Center, (Democrat), to serve from the Third agricultural district; Barbara L. Marty, Henderson, (Republican), to serve from the First agricultural district; John W. Singletary, Pueblo, (Democrat), to serve as an at-large member; and Alvin Kunugi, Blanca, (Democrat), to serve as an at-large member.

The commission formulates policy for the Colorado Department of Agriculture and advises the governor and state legislature on agricultural issues.

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State Legislative Update

Despite a relatively quiet session, there was movement on many bill tracked by CFB this week.  We expect to see the “Long Bill” (the State’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12) out by next week. It will be heard first in the Senate. That is when the real work will begin.

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Search Now Underway for 2011 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year

Behind every American farm family is the backbone of the operation: the farm mom. Monsanto is honoring her contributions to her family, farm, community and industry with the 2011 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year program.

Farm moms make valuable contributions in the field, and often they are also bookkeepers, cooks, teachers, FFA advisers, 4-H leaders, veterinarians, drivers, mentors, spokespeople and volunteers.

“Farm moms do it all, from supporting their family farming operations to bettering their communities, all while raising the next generation of America’s farmers,” says Chris Chavis, Monsanto spokeswoman for the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year program. “In addition, today’s farm women are passionate advocates for the industry. They work long hours and often go unrecognized for all their efforts. This program is our way to thank farm women everywhere for everything they do.”

Applications will be accepted through Mother’s Day at AmericasFarmers.com. Five regional winners will be announced on May 16, when winners’ profiles and nominations will be posted on the website. Each regional winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize from Monsanto, and the farm mom receiving the most online votes by May 26 will receive an additional $2,500 and the title of America’s Farmers Mom of the Year 2011.

CFB ALERT – Support Ag Sales Tax Exemption

This week the Colorado House of Representatives will consider HB 1005.

HB 1005 repeals  HB 1195, signed into law in 2010, which suspended the exemption on state sales and use taxes imposed on certain items, Ag compounds and pesticides, used in agricultural production from the period March 1, 2010, through June 30, 2013.

Repeal of HB 1195 will bring much needed tax relief to Colorado’s farmers and ranchers.  Please call your House member today and urge them to support HB 1005.  If HB 1005 is not signed into law, then Colorado farmers and ranchers will be stuck paying sales tax for their inputs, which will put them at a disadvantage to surrounding states.

Your members phone number can be found here.

Europeans Refuse to End Subsidies to Big Farms

EU agriculture ministers on Thursday rejected capping subsidies to Europe’s biggest farms but compromised on a fairer share-out of funds between farmers in eastern and Western Europe.

Meeting to discuss an overhaul of Europe’s generously subsidized farms program, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), 19 of the 27 ministers present agreed to the general outlines of a plan to revamp the scheme, several ministers said.

With debate continuing on how to reform the CAP “we have a good basis to look at a legislative package”, said Europe’s agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos.

 

Washington Recap

The U.S. Senate passed a three-week spending measure on Thursday to keep the government running through April 8. This measure contained about $6 billion in cuts to the federal budget.

The House Committee on Agriculture, House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Energy and Commerce Committee all held hearing looking at the impact of EPA regulations and restrictions on energy production.  These hearings brought great scrutiny on EPA.  Since the beginning of the 112th Congress EPA has continually been on the oversight hotseat.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee also held hearings on energy production.  They looked specifically at the impact the recent Deepwater Horizon blowout.  This blowout is being used by the administration to block new drilling permits.

 

The Weekly Links

Bill Clinton: Drilling delays ‘ridiculous’
Politico
Former President Bill Clinton said Friday that delays in offshore oil and gas drilling permits are “ridiculous” at a time when the economy is still rebuilding, according to attendees at the IHS CERAWeek conference.

Last American WWI Veteran To Be Honored at Arlington
ArmyLive
U.S. Army Corporal Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of World War I, will be memorialized and then interred at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, March 15th.

EPA, Enviro Groups May Reach Settlement
DTN
EPA and two environmental groups may be negotiating a settlement on a lawsuit alleging EPA violated the Endangered Species Act by not consulting federal wildlife officials about the potential effects that registered pesticides and other agriculture chemicals would have on hundreds of species.

PepsiCo Produces Bottle Using All-Plant Materials
NACS Online
PepsiCo Inc. has unveiled a bottle made entirely of plant material, including switchgrass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials.

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