NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for November 22, 2022

*NAFB News Service is closed on Monday, November 21, and will reopen on Tuesday*

Electric Vehicles Won’t Have AM Radios

People shopping for electric vehicles will see that most don’t have AM radio, and it’s a move not sitting well with rural farm broadcasters. Nathan Simington is a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission who spoke to broadcasters at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s annual convention. He brought a unique perspective to the topic after growing up on a farm in Canada. “AM radio is an indispensable source of information for more than three million farmers in the U.S.,” Simington says. “To those who say AM is a dead technology, 75 percent of farmers listen to the radio five days per week.” For those who don’t know, AM radio is also the “essential spine” of the Emergency Alert System. “More importantly, farm broadcasters, especially those on AM, are a trusted source of information,” Simington adds. “Forget about oil and gas. These days, trust is the most important commodity out there.”

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Milk Producers Ask for Support of Domestic Formula Production

The National Milk Producers Federation sent a letter to lawmakers asking for support of domestic infant formula production as the shortfalls that emptied store shelves of formula have eased. Given the improving situation, tariff waivers that could discourage the production of a safe, secure domestic infant formula supply should be allowed to expire at the end of this year as scheduled. The milk producers sent their letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. “Given the temporary shortfall that gripped American families in need of formula earlier this year has abated, we urge Congress to ensure that the unique, unilateral tariff benefits granted to our trading partners under the Formula Act and the Bulk Infant Formula to Retail Shelves Act end as scheduled at the close of the year,” the letter says. “We request opposition to efforts to extend the benefits.”

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NCBA, PLC Oppose ESA Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council announced their opposition to listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final rule. “Over and over, the science has proven that healthy, diverse rangelands, the exact kind of landscape maintained by livestock grazing, are where the lesser prairie chicken thrives,” says PLC Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover. “Cattle ranchers’ efforts to conserve these acres are absolutely critical to the survival of the species.” She also says they’re deeply disappointed by the Fish and Wildlife decision to impose redundant and punitive restrictions on the very same people they have to thank for the lesser prairie chicken’s continued existence on the range. The Service is also establishing a rule allowing them to appoint third parties, including environmental activist groups, as the grazing authorities in the range of the lesser prairie chicken.

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Beef Advocacy Program Wants New Applicants

The Beef Checkoff-funded Trailblazers program is asking for applications for its next class of beef advocates. Trailblazers, developed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, takes advocacy to the next level by giving participants the tools and training they need to promote beef to new audiences while correcting misconceptions. “Trailblazers develops the next generation of beef advocates through a highly-engaging and interactive program,” says Chandler Mulvaney, director of grassroots advocacy and spokesperson development for NCBA. The program is looking for new spokespeople to participate in a year-long, hands-on program to train, equip, and empower beef advocates. Selected candidates learn to become expert communicators, excel in media interviews, and understand how to build confidence in beef-related practices when talking to consumers. Applications are due by December 30, and selected participants will get notified in mid-January. Applicants must be 21 and provide two references with their application. For information, go to NCBA.org.  

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Testimony on SEC’s Proposed Climate Rule

Montana Senator Jon Tester pushed the leader of the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid taking action on its proposed Climate Rule that could potentially hurt American farmers. He’s concerned that action would lead to burdensome reporting requirements for family farmers and ranchers who are part of the supply chain for a publicly-traded company as part of the agency’s proposed climate disclosure rule. “I appreciate our discussion and your response that the SEC doesn’t intend for public companies to have an obligation to ask producers for information to estimate these emissions,” he says. “However, the agency must not take any action that may lead, intentionally or not, to burdensome reporting requirements for production agriculture.” Montana producers applauded the senator’s continued action. “We support the senator’s efforts to help the SEC understand our concerns with what could potentially be a far overreaching rule,” says Cyndi Johnson, president of the Montana Farm Bureau.

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Proposed WIC Change Would Decrease Access to Dairy Products

The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association say the USDA’s proposed changes to the Women, Infants, and Children’s Nutrition Program will limit dairy access. “Unfortunately, the changes would decrease access to dairy products and the unique nutrient profile they provide, especially considering the current Dietary Guidelines say almost 90 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t consume enough dairy to meet recommendations,” the groups say in a statement. “Nutrition science clearly shows that nutritious dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese are especially important in the diets of women, infants, and children.” They also say dairy is a source of 13 nutrients, including three of the four that are a public health concern as noted by the dietary guidelines. The groups look forward to working with USDA to modernize the WIC food package for eligible families to increase access to nutrient-dense milk, yogurt, and cheese.

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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.

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