READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 11th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Canadian National Railway Purchasing 1,000 Grain Cars

Canadian National Railway has placed an order for 1,000 new generation, high-capacity grain hopper cars. The new railcars, to be built in Mexico, will help meet the growing needs of North American grain farmers and the demands of grain customers. The order is part of a larger program to build and renew a fleet of 6,000 hopper railcars over the next three years. CN recently made a formal offer to acquire Kansas City Southern. The combination would extend the span of CN’s network from Canada and the U.S. into Mexico, making it the first railroad to link North America’s three national economies. CN President and CEO JJ Ruest states the railcars “will help move more grain across the CN rail network, which continues to make CN the embodiment of a true USMCA railroad.” The railway also noted that support for its Kansas City Southern proposal is expanding, with more letters of support being submitted to the Surface Transportation Board.

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Vilsack Tours Colorado Wildfire Recovery

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Colorado Friday, surveying wildfire recovery efforts. Joined by Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, and others, Vilsack visited two sites in the Cameron Peak Fire area, the largest fire in Colorado history, burning 208,913 acres. After, the group held a roundtable discussion on climate change mitigation and adaptation, drought, conservation and soil health, the agricultural workforce, and other issues. Senator Bennet says, “We have to protect our forests and invest in our watersheds —these are national assets. Secretary Vilsack understands that, and I’m glad he was here to see Colorado’s efforts.” Vilsack continued his trip Monday, focusing on ensuring children have access to safe and healthy food with a visit to a school in Aurora. USDA says the Biden Administration is committed to ending child hunger and has taken steps to expand healthy and free school meals. As a result, hunger has fallen by 43 percent since December thanks, in part, to these investments.

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Impossible Foods Gains School Nutrition Label

Impossible Foods recently secured Child Nutrition Labels, clearing a path towards entering the K-12 market this fall. Child Nutrition Labels are voluntary food crediting statements authorized by the Department of Agriculture. The labels make it easier for schools participating in federal Child Nutrition Programs to determine how much a particular food contributes to federal meal pattern requirements for nutritionally balanced meals for children each school day. With the Child Nutrition labels secured, Impossible Foods is kicking off K-12 pilot programs this month with school districts across the United States. Participating schools are using the product in dishes ranging from Impossible Street Tacos to Impossible Frito Pie, to Spaghetti with Impossible Meat Sauce. School district pilot participants also surveyed kids after using the Impossible items to gauge their interests. Jessica Appelgren, Vice President of Communications at Impossible Foods, says, “Our CN Label launch is just the beginning of Impossible Foods engaging this next crucial generation.”

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Growth Energy Launches New Consumer Campaign

Growth Energy last week launched a new consumer campaign to encourage drivers to choose biofuels. During the organization’s 12th Annual Executive Leadership Conference, Growth Energy announced the effort that seeks to raise awareness about biofuels’ positive environmental benefits. Through a series of targeted digital content, advertising, and digital media, the Get Biofuel campaign aligns biofuel benefits to an empowerment message titled “Fuel Beyond.” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says, “Our industry’s passion for showcasing the benefits of biofuels is unparalleled, and I’m thrilled to unveil this new initiative.” The website, getbiofuel.com, outlines the benefits of biofuels and encourages drivers to choose biofuel blends at the pump. The website tells consumers biofuel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent. The pilot campaign for the initiative launched on Earth Day, April 22, 2021, in the Raleigh, North Carolina and Salt Lake City, Utah media markets, and is slated to expand nationally in fall 2021.

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USDA: Develop a Food Safety Plan for Hurricane Season

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service urges residents along coastal areas to have a hurricane food safety plan. USDA says when a hurricane hits, prolonged power outages and flood damage are two of the biggest risks to food. The recommendations including buying ice packs and coolers days before a hurricane arrives, and freezing containers of water to make ice. Additionally, USDA says to use an appliance thermometer to determine the safety of your perishable foods. Meat, poultry, fish and egg products must be kept at 40 Fahrenheit or below and frozen food at zero degrees or below. Illness-causing bacteria grow in temperatures between 40 and 140 Fahrenheit. Bacteria that develop at these temperatures generally do not alter in a noticeable way. During a power outage, a refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours, and a full freezer will hold temperatures for 48 hours or 24 hours if half full.

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Farmers Veteran Coalition Issues Grants to Small Farmers

The Farmer Veteran Coalition announced grants last week to support veterans in their early years of farming and ranching. More than 100 farmers are being awarded equipment thanks to the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund. FVC Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo says, “We directly purchase a piece of equipment the farmer has identified as being critical.” Over 11 years, more than 700 veterans have benefitted with $3.5 million in equipment distributed. The 2021 class includes representatives in nearly 40 states and 47 females. Equipment will soon be delivered to farms starting now and into the summer. Grantees anxiously await greenhouses and grow tents, walk-in coolers and cold storage units, milking systems, water filtrations, and honey extractors. Other unique requests include a mushroom substrate steamer and a lavender bud stripper. Funding is made possible through sponsored support. Some of this year’s grantees have been mentored by other farmer veterans throughout their careers, and many intend to hire veterans as they expand their own businesses.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian 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.