READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, November 21st

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Gillibrand Calls on Trump Reject Farm Bill Without MPP Refund

New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says President Trump should reject any farm bill that does not include a refund for dairy farmers who participated in the Margin Protection Program. The farm bill conference committee is reportedly nearing completion of the farm bill, leaving a final version to be passed by the House and Senate before heading to the president’s desk. Senator Gillibrand urged Trump in a letter this week to only support a final bill that includes her Dairy Premium Refund Act,  that she says would “issue a refund to farmers who participated in the failed Dairy Margin Protection Program.” Gillibrand says that Since 2014, thousands of New York dairy farmers paid millions of dollars to USDA for coverage, but when milk prices and feed prices fell at the same time, most farmers “lost money on every pound of milk they sold and never received a payment.” Gillibrand serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee and is considered a hopeful candidate for President in 2020.

Mexico Expects Tariff Deal this Month

Mexico expects the U.S. to stop steel and aluminum tariffs this month, before the U.S. Mexico And Canada sign a new trilateral trade agreement. Mexico expects Trump will agree to lift the tariffs in exchange for signatures on the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which updates the North American Free Trade Agreement. A Government official from Mexico says the expectation is that by the time of signing there “will be either a solution or a very clear track” that the tariffs will end, according to Politico. Removal of the steel and aluminum tariffs would allow Canada and Mexico to remove retaliatory tariffs imposed against roughly $15 billion in U.S. exports. A recent report from Farm Foundation claims the retaliatory tariffs in response to steel and aluminum tariffs would cause U.S. exports to Mexico and Canada to decline by $1.8 billion, despite a new trade agreement, if not removed.

FDA: High Oleic Oils Provide Health Benefit

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb this week announced new health claims for high oleic oils. FDA announced the claims in response to a detailed petition from a biotech company. FDA says manufacturers of high oleic oils can choose to include a qualified health claim on their label stating that “supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that daily consumption of about 1½ tablespoons of oils containing high levels of oleic acid, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” Edible oils must contain at least 70 percent oleic acid to meet the criteria for the qualified health claim. Gottlieb says the science behind the new qualified health claim for oleic acid, while not conclusive, “is promising.” The FDA evaluated results from seven small clinical studies that evaluated the relationship between consumption of oils containing high levels of oleic acid, at least 70 percent per serving, and improved cholesterol levels, which indicates a reduced risk for coronary heart disease.

Chinese Ag Officials Visit U.S. Cooperative

Two officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China recently visited Southern States Cooperative to learn about U.S. agricultural co-ops. A Chinese agronomist and Science Department Director met with Southern States Cooperative President and CEO Jeff Stroburg and the cooperative leadership team to learn about how co-ops are organized and how they function. The Chinese officials toured a fertilizer plant in King William, Virginia owned by Southern States Cooperative. During their six-week visit to the United States, the Chinese officials had a goal to witness a U.S. farm operation. The officials were able to visit a large row crop farm in Virginia. Stroburg says the officials “gained a better understanding of the tremendous value that cooperatives provide farmers in the United States.”

USDA Announces Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs

The Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced William “Bill” Beam has been appointed by the Trump Administration to serve as Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs. Beam was sworn in last month to the position. As Deputy Administrator, Beam will be responsible for overseeing and implementing policies and procedures that regulate the delivery of federal farm programs. He, along with farm programs staff, oversee major portions of the farm bill including programs that help farmers, ranchers and forest stewards manage market risks, recover from disasters and conserve and protect natural resources. Prior to his appointment, Beam was the president, owner and operator of Beam Farms, Inc., a fourth-generation row crop, specialty crop and hay operation in Elverson, Pennsylvania. In addition to his farming operation, Beam owns and manages a sawdust trucking business.

Wisconsin Claims “State of Cheese”

Wisconsin is the nation’s top cheese-producing state, so it comes as no surprise it is claiming the title of the “state of cheese.” The new branding from Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a step to “boldly claim its rightful place as the state of cheese.” Research indicates 86 percent of consumers think of Wisconsin when they think of cheese. However, Wisconsin wants to help deepen their knowledge. Wisconsin has the only Master Cheesemaker Program outside of Europe, and Wisconsin makes nearly half of the specialty cheese in the United States. A Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin spokesperson says of the claim and new video advertisement highlights “the story and heritage of Wisconsin cheesemakers.” And, as consumers are looking for Wisconsin cheese in stores across the nation, they will begin seeing the new Proudly Wisconsin Cheese logo that resembles a ribbon to represent the world’s most awarded cheese.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service



By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.