Wednesday, April 25, 2018

USDA Rural Development Innovation Center Launches Interactive Webpage to Share Best Practices for Rural Economic Development

USDA Rural Development Innovation Center Launches Interactive Webpage to Share Best Practices for Rural Economic Development WASHINGTON, April 25, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today unveiled a new interactive webpage to identify best practices for building rural prosperity. “Rural communities need forward-thinking strategies to build strong, resilient futures,” Hazlett said. “USDA’s Rural Development Innovation Center is focused on identifying unique opportunities, pioneering new, creative solutions to tough challenges, and making Rural Development’s programs easier to understand, use and access.” The webpage highlights effective strategies that have been used to create jobs, build infrastructure, strengthen partnerships and promote economic development in rural America. An interactive feature allows webpage visitors to submit comments on ways USDA can improve Rural Development program delivery. Innovation Center staff will review these recommendations and direct customers to resources, services and expertise that will help their communities create transformative solutions to complex rural challenges. The webpage also highlights USDA resources that can be used for investments in infrastructure and innovation. These resources include USDA’s Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program, Community Connect Grant Program, and Community Facilities Programs. Secretary Perdue established the Rural Development Innovation Center to streamline, modernize and strengthen the delivery of Rural Development programs. To do this, the Innovation Center is focused on improving customer service to rural communities and increasing rural prosperity through strategic partnerships and capacity-building, data analytics and evaluation, and regulatory reform. In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB). USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit #

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Farm Service Agency Makes Administrative Change to the Livestock Indemnity Program

Farm Service Agency Makes Administrative Change to the Livestock Indemnity Program USDA Farm Service Agency sent this bulletin at 04/24/2018 04:15 PM EDT You are subscribed to FSA News Releases for USDA Farm Service Agency. This information has recently been updated, and is now available. Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page. Farm Service Agency Makes Administrative Change to the Livestock Indemnity Program 04/24/2018 03:55 PM EDT CANADIAN, Texas, April 24, 2018 – Starting today, agricultural producers who have lost livestock to disease, resulting from a weather disaster, have an additional way to become eligible for a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance program.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

USDA to Immediately Assist Producers for Qualifying Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program Losses

USDA to Immediately Assist Producers for Qualifying Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program Losses $34 Million in Payments for 2017 Losses Part of Broad Suite of Programs Aiding Ag Operations WASHINGTON, April 13, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue $34 million to help agricultural producers recover from 2017 natural disasters through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), which covers losses not covered by certain other USDA disaster assistance programs. These payments are being made available today, and they are part of a broader USDA effort to help producers recover from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires and drought. A large portion of this assistance will be made available in federally designated disaster areas. “From Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, through the South, the Southwest, California and the Great Plains, American agriculture was devastated by natural disasters in 2017,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “The Trump Administration is moving quickly to distribute financial assistance to help producers recover and rebuild. It is important to get this help to producers in time for the spring planting season.” ELAP aims to help eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary. ELAP assistance is provided for losses not covered by other disaster assistance programs such as the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). The increased amount of assistance through ELAP was made possible by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed earlier this year. The Act amended the 2014 Farm Bill to enable USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide assistance to producers without an annual funding cap and immediately for 2017. It also enables FSA to pay ELAP applications as they are filed for 2018 and subsequent program years. -more-

ATV Safety 101

ATV Safety 101 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ATVs were first introduced in the U.S. for agricultural use in the early 1980s. Over the past thirty years, ATVs have grown increasingly popular recreationally and more recently, have become a valuable asset at work. With more than 10 million in use, it is important to know the hazards associated with ATVs and how to operate them safely. Recommended Practices for the Safe Use of ATVs at Work For Employers: • Provide helmet and eye-protection for workers and encourage the use of other personal protective equipment (PPE). • Identify and mark – and eliminate if possible – hazards such as excavations, trenches, and guy wires that might be present in specific work environments, so they are easily seen and avoided by workers on the job site. • Establish operating and maintenance policies that follow manufacturer’s terrain guidelines, specified hauling and towing capacity, and passenger restrictions. • Provide employees access to hands-on training by an ATV Safety Institute instructor or a similarly qualified instructor. • Share responsibility with employees on the practices detailed below. In other words, practice what you preach. For Employees: • Wear PPE including a helmet, eye-protection, long pants, and sturdy boots. • Participate in hands-on training in the safe handling and operation of an ATV. • Conduct a pre-ride inspection of tires, brakes, headlights, etc., and follow employer’s maintenance polices for upkeep of the ATV. • Understand how implements and attachments may affect the stability and handling of the ATV. • Never exceed the manufacturer’s specified hauling and towing capacity or weight limits and ensure cargo is balanced, secured, and loaded on provided racks. • Be aware of potential hazards such as trees, ruts, rocks, streams and gullies, and follow posted hazard warnings. • Drive at speeds safe for weather and terrain and never operate ATVs on surfaces not designed for ATVs such as paved roads and highways. • Never permit passengers on the ATV, unless the ATV has an additional seat specifically designed to carry them. • Never operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Did You Know? ATVs have unique features that enable them to operate in harsh work environments where larger, less mobile vehicles cannot safely be used. Their oversized, deep tread, and low-pressure tires (4-5psi) and light weight (600-1000lbs) – compared to other motorized vehicles. Thier enhanced maneuverability also presents risks such as rollovers which may occur due to high center of gravity and a relatively narrow wheelbase. Below are two videos showcasing what could happen when operating an ATV. The rider needs to be properly trained BEFORE using these vehicles to prevent injuries or fatalities. ATV Safety Video: The Last Ride Off-Road Safety Documentary: Their Stories One seat, one rider! Take the ATV Safety 101 quiz to test your knowledge! Resources: • Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America: • ATV Safety Institute:; • Farm Safety 4 Just Kids: • National Children’s Center for Rural Agricultural Health and Safety: • National Education Center for Agricultural Safety: • National Institute for Occupational Safety and health (NIOSH): • Texas AHEC East: Disclaimer: The facts and information listed above are merely suggestions for your safety, but are in no way a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all actions needed to insure your safety.

ACES High Calf program

Hello Everyone, With the ongoing drought, we thought it would be best to slightly modify the ACES High Certified Calf program in response. The concern is that if producers purchase the program tags now and then are forced to wean early (and ship calves), that money would be wasted. Thus, we will only require vaccine receipts, date of first calf born, and date of last calf born (or branding date) to get started. There will be no tags until fall weaning which will allow time to evaluate range conditions and the ability to wean for 45 days. This makes the program no cost to the producer until he/she has the opportunity to see what their range and feed situation is later this summer or early fall. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for all the help! Craig. NMSU Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources Extension Beef Cattle Specialist


PLEASE JOIN US FOR A RETIREMENT CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISER FOR NMSU LIVESTOCK JUDGING TEAM HONORING MR. L. NEIL BURCHAM Event is set for Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Las Cruces Convention Center, from 6:00-9:00PM Mr. L. Neil Burcham has retired from NMSU after 48 years of service. Join us to honor this individual who has made an impact on the lives of many NMSU students and the cattle industry in New Mexico. In addition to honoring Mr. Burcham this event will also be a fundraiser for the NMSU Livestock Judging team. We will also be hosting an Alumni Livestock Judging contest at 4:00 PM at the main campus Livestock Center. Get your Former NMSU Judging Team together for some friendly competition or team up with your friends. (please visit the Department of Animal and Range Sciences facebook page) or for more information and registration details please contact Dr. Shanna Ivey ( ) or Dana Wiebe ( Doors open at 6:00 p.m. at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave. Please make your reservation by Friday, April 13, 2018.

New Mexico agriculture industry hosts conference for future producers

New Mexico agriculture industry hosts conference for future producers (LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO) – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture and a dozen other New Mexico agencies and agriculture organizations are hosting the 2018 AgriFuture Educational Institute for future agriculturists. This event is geared toward anyone 18 to 40 years of age but is open to anyone older or younger who are interested in being a part of the future of agriculture. Current producers of any age are highly encouraged to join alongside future producers to learn and share insights. Veterans of the armed forces are encouraged to attend. The 2018 AgriFuture Educational Institute aims to connect, inform and inspire the next generation of farmers, ranchers and all people involved in agriculture. AgriFuture will be held May 15 to 17 in Albuquerque. “AgriFuture provides a tremendous opportunity for those who have an interest in agriculture production,” said Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture. “The conference is about opportunities and resources and is presented by those who are actively engaged in agriculture. I encourage anyone who wants to explore these opportunities to attend, especially the next generation of agriculturists, our returning military veterans and those who have had other careers who may be ready to return to the land.” With over 150 attendees expected, the conference will feature breakout sessions, educational agricultural speakers, dinner with mentors, networking opportunities and more. Future ag producers may attend for $50, which includes a two-night hotel stay. Current ag producers and mentors may attend for $100, and exhibitor booth registration is $250. Registration may be found at For more information, visit or contact Kristie Garcia at 575-646-2804 or Like the New Mexico Department of Agriculture on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.