Rocky Mountain Ag Briefs 1-23-12 | TheFencePost.com

Rocky Mountain Ag Briefs 1-23-12

Last year, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack challenged leaders of the National FFA Organization to come up with recommendations regarding the Farm Bill. In December, the national officer team met with Sec. Vilsack to share their ideas that fell under four categories: Getting started in production agriculture, creating vibrant rural communities, who should care about agriculture and why, and planning for the future. A series of recommendations were discussed.

To view the recommendations of the FFA, go to http://www.FFA.org.

A grant of $255,000 was given to the Laramie County Conservation District by the USDA natural Resources Conservation Service. The funding is to be used for improvements that will improve energy efficiency in agricultural operations in Laramie County. Different areas where improvements can be made are irrigation water, pumping, livestock water pumping, windbreaks, and no-till farming practices. Producers who are eligible, can sign up at the USDA Office.

For more information, call (307) 772-2314.

Winners have been chosen for the “Colorado…it’s Agricultural Photography Contest hosted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Almost 150 entries were received that were taken in Colorado. The photographs had to be based on Colorado agriculture and were judged on creativity and technical quality. The grand-prize of $150 went to Janet Brophy of Wray, Colo. Her photo shows a farmer’s view of the Colorado sky in Yuma County. Other winners include Sandy Rich, of Aurora, Colo., who received first place honors in the agritourism category. Tiffany Rieckenberg of Sterling, Colo., got first place in the livestock category. Cheryl Jacobson of Burlington, Colo., had a first place photo in the people category. Laurie Purcell of Grand Junction, Colo., won first place in the open professional category.

The winning photographs will be displayed at the Beede-Hamil Agriculture Building at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo. You can view them online at http://www.ColoradoAgriculture.com.

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As U.S. agriculture officials try to help in reducing the nation’s debt, an announcement was made that 131 Farm Service Agency offices throughout 32 states would be closed. The Weld County office was not listed to be closed as a result of the budget cuts. Offices in Colorado that will be closed are those in Boulder, Huerfano and Rio Grande counties. The Weld County Office shouldn’t see any changes other than possibly helping out farmers in neighboring counties. Although 131 offices are closing, more than 2,100 Farm Service Agencies will continue operating throughout the U.S.

For more information, please go to http://www.FSA.USDA.gov.