Rocky Mountain Ag Briefs 2-6-12 |

Rocky Mountain Ag Briefs 2-6-12

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. In an effort to help promote and develop specialty crops, such as fruits and vegetables, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has partnered with the state department to make funds available. The goal is to make specialty crops competitive in areas that include marketing, promotion, education, research, trade and nutrition. Specialty crops make up approximately 11 percent of Colorado’s total agricultural cash receipts. Funds are expected to be available in 2013. Proposals must be submitted by April 4, 2012.

For more information, go to or call (303) 239-4117.

The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes Colorado landowners who represent outstanding stewardship and sustainable management of natural resources. The award consists of $10,000 and an Aldo Leopold crystal. The winner will receive the award at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Annual Convention on June 12, 2012 in Loveland, Colo. The deadline for entries is March 16, 2012.

For more information, please go to

The feedback from thousands of farmers and ranchers, has the U.S. Department of Labor officials revisiting the original proposed revisions to child farm labor laws. The original revision only allowed parental exemptions for those who “wholly” owned their farming operation. The new language being suggested now is that the exemptions would apply to those who are “substantial” owners of the farm. Farmers and ranchers feared that the strict rules would discourage young people from learning about the industry.

For more information, please go to

A four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign up will begin March 12, 2012 and end April 6, 2012. The CRP program protects natural resources and helps producers use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. The USDA provides voluntary participants with rent payments and cost-share assistance. Contracts are usually 10-15 years. There are approximately 30 million acres enrolled in CRP, with about 6.5 million acres expiring this year.

For more information, go to

The 30th Anniversary Four States Ag Expo will be held March 15-18 in Cortez, Colo. The cost is $5 per day or $15 for a 4-day pass. Kids 15 and under are free.

For more information, go to

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