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Japanese beetle detected on Western Slope in Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — After a detection of the invasive Japanese beetle in Grand Junction, Colo., this summer, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has been working in partnership with local stakeholders to eradicate the pest and prevent its spread into additional areas of Colorado.

“CDA has been working with our partners in Mesa County’s Noxious Weed and Pest Management programs and with the Colorado State University Tri-River Extension office to educate homeowners in the Grand Junction area about the detection of the Japanese beetles and to set up traps in the affected areas,” said Rich Guggenheim, Ph.D, Plant Health Certification Program manager at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “Over the next few months we will be formulating a plan on how to work with the community to eradicate this invasive pest that is a threat to the region’s agricultural and tourism economies.”

The beetle is a known pest and a quarantine is in place to prevent its spread into areas without current infestation, including the Western Slope.

“Adult Japanese beetle are voracious defoliators that feed on more than 300 species of plants, many of which are essential to western Colorado’s agricultural economy, including peaches, grapes, sweet corn, turf, and many other ornamental plants in urban spaces,” said Melissa Schreiner, entomologist with the Colorado State University Tri-River Extension Office. “Adult beetles feed on leaves, flowers, and fruit of trees, shrubs and perennials while the larvae are serious pests causing root damage to turf grass. We will be working to educate people in the affected area about how to identify and help eradicate this invasive pest.”

Figure A: Japanese beetle life cycle, image produced by University of Minnesota ExtensionFigure B: Photo of Japanese beetle adults feeding on a rose flower. Photo by Melissa Schreiner

Japanese Beetles were first detected in Colorado in 1995 through trapping and Colorado’s Exterior JB Quarantine was established in 2009 to prevent the pest from coming into the state and spreading to areas without current detections. An internal quarantine was added to the JB Quarantine in 2018, to prevent the spread of the beetle from 11 counties on Colorado’s Front Range known to either be partially or totally infested with JB. Plant nurseries in those counties, as well as any out of state, must perform required mitigation protocol before being allowed to ship plants into or to other parts of Colorado.

On the Western Slope a Japanese beetle was discovered by a Master Gardener in 2002. According to data from the Upper Grand Valley Pest Control District, the area around the UGVPCD acted decisively to eradicate the pest and reduced its population by 99% over five years.

“CDA has been trapping and monitoring the Japanese beetle population in our region for 20 years to assist the Upper Grand Valley Pest Control District. This summer, with a detection of a reproducing population, the county partnered with CDA in setting up additional traps to identify the area where the beetles have concentrated,” said Duncan Dearduff, Mesa County Noxious Weed and Pest Management coordinator. “Japanese beetles will devastate ornamental plants and turf across the Grand Valley. We’ve eradicated this pest before and with strong support from our neighbors and the agricultural community our goal is to eradicate it from Mesa County once again.”

Over the winter months, CDA will partner with Mesa County, City of Grand Junction, and CSU Tri-River Extension Office to draft a plan for eradication of the beetle. Mesa County will work with the City of Grand Junction and homeowners associations in the area to educate homeowners, assist with treatment costs, and encourage participation in the plan. Pesticide treatments will take place from April-August of 2023 with the voluntary participation of homeowners in the affected area.

Additionally, the team will analyze the data collected this summer to determine the financial impacts to agriculture, the costs of the treatment, and to develop the best management approach with the goal of eradicating the pest. In the spring of 2023, CDA will again place traps in a systematic way to complete a broader delimitation survey, determine if the treatment protocols are effective, and to see if there is a reduction in the beetle population. CSU Extension agents in the Tri-River Area are developing a citizen scientist trapping program for the 2023 season with the goal of gathering more data from citizens on the distribution of Japanese beetles in our area.

People who live in Mesa County are encouraged to monitor their plants and turf for the presence of the Japanese Beetle. Any sightings of the pest should be reported to the Japanese beetle helpline at (970) 248-7000 or https://ag.colorado.gov/plants/japanese-beetle-in-colorado.

Questions about the Japanese beetle, its life cycle, and how to participate in the 2023 citizen scientist Japanese beetle trapping program can be directed to the CSU Extension office at (970) 244-1834.

CDA hiring for up to 4 regional assistant commissioners of agriculture positions

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture announced a search to fill new regionally based positions that will serve as a liaison between the department and agricultural communities across Colorado. The regional assistant commissioner of agriculture roles will serve as a key resource and conduit to CDA to support the department’s goals of community engagement and developing and maintaining trusted relationships with rural communities.

Funding is available to hire anywhere between one and four of these part-time positions. The department will make that determination based on business needs. These positions will average five-10 hours per week, will be based in agricultural communities across the state, and will operate with a high level of flexibility to allow for working farmers and ranchers to consider this role. This restructuring of the traditional deputy position was developed through conversation with Colorado’s agricultural community as to how to expand representation and deepen partnerships.

“CDA is continuously exploring innovative ways to engage farmers and ranchers to gather their thoughts on emerging issues. With these new positions, ag communities will have direct access to a member of the CDA executive team who lives and works in their community and who can quickly escalate ideas and concerns directly to CDA leadership,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “For the regional assistant commissioner of agriculture positions we are looking for experienced farmers, ranchers, or producers who have a proven track record of cultivating relationships within their communities and engaging on issues critical to agriculture. We want to expand our outreach to Colorado’s ag communities by bringing in voices that represent diverse experiences, views, and regions of Colorado.”

These unique positions will work closely with the commissioner of agriculture, the agricultural commission, and CDA’s senior team to serve as a direct connection between the department and their community. Qualified candidates will have experience and knowledge in the agricultural field as well as in ag economics, stewardship and conservation practices, supporting future generations in agriculture, and promoting animal health and welfare. The position will serve to advise the department on issues related to agricultural production and other policies impacting agricultural communities and provide policy position recommendations and feedback.

These positions will serve as a representative to a region of Colorado. The same job posting may be used to hire more than one regional assistant commissioner of agriculture in order to provide regional coverage across Colorado.

The department is looking for leaders from agricultural communities who are skilled in engaging local decision makers, building and strengthening relationships, and committed to increasing equity, diversity and inclusion in agriculture. The regional assistant commissioner applicants should be able to demonstrate a wide range of community involvement and have experience that covers multiple areas of the agricultural industry.

These part-time, term-limited positions will serve as a spokesperson for CDA in their community and will bring feedback from various ag communities back to the department. The positions do not oversee any staff or programs, but rather support the work of the department by connecting stakeholders with appropriate decision makers and acting in a liaison capacity with ag communities across their region of Colorado.

The full position description and application can be found online at bit.ly/cda-asstregcomish. The application period is open now and closes on Oct. 24, 2022. Qualified applicants should fill out the online application form. A paper application form is also available at the link above.

Lucas introduces bill against SEC

Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and 80 of his colleagues last week introduced the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.

The bill would would prohibit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from requiring an issuer of securities to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities in the issuer’s value chain arising from farms and ranches.

The SEC has proposed “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” that would require registrants, publicly traded companies registered with the SEC, to include certain climate-related disclosures in their statements and periodic reports, including measured impacts for their entire supply chain.

“While federal securities laws already require publicly traded companies to disclose material risks to investors, the SEC’s ill-advised climate disclosure rule undermines the materiality standard for environmental policy purposes.” Lucas said.

“The proposed climate rule is so unwieldy and convoluted that publicly traded companies will be forced to require small, independent, family farms to report on-farm data regarding individual operations and day-to-day activities. In this capacity, the SEC would be granted unprecedented jurisdiction over family farms and ranches, hindering the ability of American farmers and ranchers to compete in global markets and creating onerous compliance requirements for operations with few or no employees,” Lucas said.

The act would:

▪ Prohibit the SEC from requiring an issuer of securities to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities in the issuer’s value chain arising from a farm.

▪ Define the production, manufacturing, or harvesting of an agricultural product through the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, outline upstream and downstream activities, and define greenhouse gases.

▪ Remove the SEC’s exemptive authority in relation to this act.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Cotton Council have endorsed the bill.

Firefighters working to get Bovee Fire in Nebraska under control

HALSEY, Neb. – Federal, state, and local firefighters are aggressively attacking the 15,000-acre Bovee Fire, which ignited yesterday afternoon, in the Nebraska National Forest about three miles south of the Bessey Ranger District office.

The Bovee Fire was reported at 1:39 p.m. on Oct. 2, and quickly spread up to 15 miles north, pushed through dry fuels by gusty south winds. Aggressive structure protection efforts by Forest Service and local firefighters successfully defended the historic Bessey Nursery and CCC Campground. Unfortunately, the lodge and camper cabins of the Nebraska 4H Camp were destroyed, along with the Scott Lookout Tower. The fire’s cause is under investigation.

“We had a good night last night and made a lot of progress on the east and north,” said Incident Commander Brian Daunt. “Today’s focus is going to be holding those lines, and constructing line to the west of the fire.”

More than 100 firefighters are on scene, including two Type I Interagency Hotshot Crews, 10 engines, a dozer, and a fire suppression module. Air tankers were used yesterday to drop retardant and slow the fire’s spread, and will be available today if needed. Colorado’s Multimission Aircraft is scheduled to fly the fire this afternoon to provide detailed infrared mapping of the fire perimeter.

Weather conditions today are expected to be much more favorable for firefighters, with highs in the 70s and lighter winds.

The Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Dan Dallas, has been activated to take command of the Bovee Fire, and is mobilizing en route to the incident.

Nebraska Highway 2 has been reopened between Thedford and Halsey. To protect public and firefighter safety, the Nebraska National Forest has closed the entire Bessey Ranger District to the public during the Bovee Fire. Closure details will be posted on the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nebraska/alerts-notices.

Some Wisconsin farmers receive notice of additional deductions from milk checks

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Wisconsin dairy farmers are reporting notifications from some cooperatives and milk buyers that new “market adjustments” will be deducted from their milk checks. For example, farmers are reporting they will be seeing from $0.90 per hundredweight up to $2.50-plus per hundredweight market adjustments which will be deducted from the September milk checks and continue through the end of the year.

A copy of one letter was sent to the American Dairy Coalition. In it, the cooperative cites rising costs and insufficient “make allowances” as one reason for the new deduction. A recent cost of processing study done for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by Mark Stephenson of University of Wisconsin Madison indicates that the current make allowances that are already built into the USDA end-product pricing formulas are collectively about $1 per hundredweight short of covering costs to make the bulk cheddar, butter, nonfat dry milk and whey that are surveyed monthly for the USDA pricing formulas.

On the other hand, the cost of processing report described the difficulty in extracting the costs related to only those four bulk commodities because most dairy plants today make a range of products that are not included in the end-product pricing formulas. Those other products represent substantially more milk and may be sold by processors at higher prices without increasing the price they, in turn, pay to their farmers — this appears to allow additional processor income to cover costs.

We are learning that hearings could soon be requested to raise the processor make allowances that are embedded in the milk pricing formulas, which, if approved, could reduce the prices paid to dairy farmers.

We understand that processors are facing inflation in their input costs. Farmers are also experiencing intense inflationary pressure on their operations too. The difference is, the farmers’ cost of production is not considered in the milk pricing formulas — at all.

These milk check deductions appear to be a way to shift rising costs over to farmers through mailbox milk check deductions.

Milk cooperatives are able to do this even if they are participating in the federal milk marketing order revenue-sharing pools. The law recognizes the entire cooperative as a producer, so when they pay their farmer members, they do not have to pay the minimum federal order price. They can adjust it by re-blending what they receive from the pool and from sales according to their own utilization of milk, and they can add deductions to cover costs that they determine are not being extracted from their market sales. Proprietary plants, on the other hand, must pay the minimum price if they participate in the federal order pool.

Currently, there are several divergences occurring between different formula products and milk use classes. Plus, farmers have seen a $1 to $2 reduction in their Class I fluid milk price due to a formula change made in the last farm bill without a Federal Milk Marketing Order hearing and without most farmers knowing much about it until it was done. Over the past 42 months since the change was implemented, the net loss to all dairy farmers grew to more than $887.6 million. This is like a $0.63 deduction on all Class I milk pounds sold over the course of nearly four years or a $0.20 per hundredweight deduction on the blended price for all milk sold for all uses over that time. The new formula has also performed poorly under market stress, creating dysfunction in the Federal Orders with further negative impacts on mailbox milk prices and the performance of purchased risk management tools.

From the processor side, they too are conflicted with other aspects of the milk price formulas because of divergences between barrel cheese prices and block cheese prices and in the value of fat used in making butter vs. cheese.

FUTURE REFORMS

Discussions about federal milk pricing formulas have been ongoing, and there will be an American Farm Bureau national stakeholder meeting in Kansas City in two weeks about possible future reforms.

ADC’s position is straightforward. We believe these “processor make allowances” that are embedded in the pricing formulas should be put on hold until the milk pricing change that was made in the last farm bill is thoroughly vetted through a side-by-side comparison at a FMMO hearing, or is reversed. The reason we have taken this position is because farmers are already on the short end of the stick. They are the last rung in the supply chain ladder, and they have no one to go back to extract a “make allowance” for their rising inflationary costs.

If the make allowances are elevated without addressing these other concerns, the mailbox price will be reduced to the farmer, and there is nothing to prevent processors from re-blending and the potential for additional deductions.

Only Class I beverage milk is required to participate in the federal milk marketing order pools. So, the other side of this issue is the pooling revenue sometimes goes negative when these price divergences happen and processors take higher value manufacturing milk out of the revenue sharing pools to increase profitability, but they don’t necessarily equalize the additional revenue with their dairy farmers.

ADC’s bottom line is this: We are navigating uncharted waters with a system that is antiquated and not nimble, a convoluted milk pricing scheme in which the actual dairy need to have a clear conclusive voice. That’s why ADC has spent so much attention and time on this issue with webinars and forums and teleconferences and communications to get farmers informed and at the table to secure their future viability.

Biden to visit Puerto Rico, Florida amid agricultural destruction

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Puerto Rico today and to Florida on Wednesday amid reports of agricultural destruction in both places due to hurricanes.

In addition to the loss of crops and livestock, there may be price increases for certain products.

The White House said late Sunday that the Bidens will travel to Ponce, Puerto Rico. After receiving a briefing on Hurricane Fiona and delivering remarks, the Bidens will visit Centro Sor Isolina Ferré Aguayo School to meet with families and community leaders impacted by Hurricane Fiona, participate in a community service project, and thank the federal and local officials “working around the clock to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild.”

Later in the day the Bidens will return to Washington.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that USDA is helping both consumers and farmers in Puerto Rico.

“Our thoughts are with all of the people affected by this terrible storm, especially in Puerto Rico, which has come so far in recovering from Hurricane Maria,” said Vilsack. “I want everyone to know that USDA is ready to deliver all the resources we have available to us to assist those in need.”

Vilsack issued a food safety warning and issued a list of several disaster programs that can help farmers and ranchers.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has also approved Puerto Rico’s requests:

▪ To use of USDA Foods from The Emergency Food Assistance Program for Disaster Household Distribution in response to Hurricane Fiona recovery efforts.

▪ For waivers in response to Hurricane Fiona that apply to the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option during unanticipated school closures. These waivers are effective through Oct. 31.

▪ To extend the expiration date to waive state plan requirements and allow hot foods to be purchased at certified retailers utilizing the Nutrition Assistance Program card. The amended waiver is effective through Oct. 9.

▪ For waivers and exception in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for school year operations in response to the recovery efforts for Hurricane Fiona. These waivers are effective through Oct. 31.

FNS has also approved Florida’s requests for:

▪ A waiver relating to Child Nutrition Program operations impacted by Hurricane Ian. Under the waiver approval, Florida Child Care Food Program institutions and sponsoring organizations, which are part of the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, may serve meals in a non-congregate setting. The waiver is effective through Nov. 25, with the expectation that it will only be implemented by program operators when meal service is limited or negatively impacted due to Hurricane Ian.

▪ Waivers relating to Child Nutrition Program operations impacted by Hurricane Ian. Under the waiver approval, during school closures when classes are not being offered, program operators in Florida may serve meals through the Summer Food Service Program or National School Lunch Seamless Summer Option in a non-congregate setting, adjust the time of meal service, allow parent pick up, and serve meals at school sites.

Additionally, when school buildings are closed but classes are being offered virtually, school food authorities may serve NSLP and School Breakfast Program meals in a non-congregate setting, adjust the time of meal service, allow parent pick up, and senior high schools are not required to use offer versus serve at lunch when meal service is impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Similar waivers were provided for the Special Milk Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The waivers are effective through Nov. 25, with the expectation that they will only be implemented by program operators when meal service is limited or negatively impacted due to Hurricane Ian.

▪ Early issuance of October 2022 benefits to SNAP households that receive their benefits between Oct. 1 and Oct. 14. The statewide waiver applies to SNAP benefits in all households that receive benefits during this timeframe. The early issuance allowed households to prepare for the storm before it made landfall or immediately after.

National Milk cautious about infant formula tariff relief

Congress last week passed the Bulk Infant Formula to Retail Shelves Act (H.R. 8982), a bill to temporarily lift tariffs on imported “base powder,” a key component filled with essential proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that is mixed with nutrients and other ingredients to make infant formula.

The current tariffs are 13.6% + $1.035/kg.

The House approved the legislation by voice vote and the Senate by unanimous consent. It now goes to President Biden for his signature.

“The passage of this legislation today is a huge win for families and will be a powerful tool in addressing the ongoing baby formula shortage,” Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., and other House sponsors said. “This measure, combined with the Formula Act that Congress approved in July, will help get more safe, affordable formula on store shelves and increase domestic production capacity,”

Lifting the tariffs on base powder and increasing domestic manufacturing would be especially helpful for families participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which must be used in brick-and-mortar retail stores and cannot be used for online purchases currently, they added, noting that about half the baby formula purchased in the United States is purchased through WIC.

But National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said in a news release, “NMPF has not opposed the temporary, short-term lifting of restrictions on infant formula imports to address the rare formula availability crisis and did not oppose the just-passed Bulk Infant Formula to Retail Shelves Act given its targeted volume and limited time frame. Those guardrails are necessary to ensure that imports temporarily complement U.S. supplies rather than displace existing available dairy formula ingredients.

“NMPF emphatically opposes efforts that would create long-term dependence on foreign suppliers for a critical nutritional food. The focus must be to develop additional production in the United States necessary to ensure that this crisis isn’t repeated. As the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, only a robust domestic supply chain, with American workers and U.S. sources of production, can best protect families against potentially tragic disruptions of critically needed products.

“NMPF also opposes giving foreign companies regulatory advantages that domestic producers don’t have. Overseas milk production that doesn’t meet the same stringent regulations met by our own producers shouldn’t be allowed into the United States under any but the most extreme circumstances, such as the immediate shortfalls that we see now but expect will soon be alleviated by domestic supplies resuming their typical production levels.

“The most meaningful step the U.S. government can take to shore up domestic formula supplies would be to analyze what policy and regulatory reforms are needed to enable the U.S. to expand infant formula production in this country to ensure ample supplies for the domestic market as well as to become a net exporter of infant formula. That retains the strongest degree of domestic control — and thus security — over needed supplies of this critical, life-saving product.”

California governor approves farmworker unionization law

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, last week signed a bill expanding unionization rights for farm workers.

Newsom signed the bill on Wednesday alongside advocates and farmworkers outside the State Capitol in Sacramento.

In a news release, Newsom said, “AB 2183 by Assemblymember Mark Stone, D-Monterey Bay, creates new ways for farmworkers to vote in a union election, including options for mail-in ballots, and authorization cards submitted to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, in addition to the existing in-person voting process.”

Newsom had expressed concerns about the bill and he, the United Farm Workers and the California Labor Federation reached agreement on supplemental language that Newsom said “includes a cap on the number of card-check petitions over the next five years and will allow the ALRB to adequately protect worker confidentiality and safety.”

Newsom said the California legislature will pass the supplemental language next year.

Newsom’s decision thrilled the United Farm Workers, which had mounted a march to Sacramento to convince the governor to sign the bill but angered Western Growers, the largest organization representing fruit and vegetable growers even though the clarifying language agreement was made.

“California’s farmworkers are the lifeblood of our state, and they have the fundamental right to unionize and advocate for themselves in the workplace,” said Newsom. “Our state has been defined by the heroic activism of farmworkers, championed by American icons like Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong. California is proud to stand with the next generation of leaders carrying on this movement.”

The United Farm Workers said in a news release, “Farm workers across the state organized and sacrificed to make their voices heard and to pass AB 2183. California and many parts of the country heard their voices, and farm workers felt the deep and historic solidarity from all parts of California and all across the nation.”

“We look forward to working with Gov. Newsom and the legislature to make agreed upon changes that will ease implementation of AB 2183 so that farm workers can participate in elections free from intimidation and deportation beginning next year.”

But Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said, “It is shameful that Gov. Newsom invoked the name of Cesar Chavez in signing AB 2183. Instead of advancing the labor icon’s movement, as the governor claimed, California has officially unraveled Chavez’s legacy, striking at the heart of his greatest political objective and accomplishment: the right of farmworkers to a state-supervised secret ballot election.”

“Chavez fought for passage of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975, making California the first state in the country to give farmworkers the right to unionize,” Puglia said.

“For Chavez, the key to that law — like American democracy — was the guarantee of free and fair elections shielded from intimidation and coercion by any interested party.

“Rather than seeking ‘a collaborative approach among all relevant stakeholders’ to address the ‘various inconsistencies and procedural issues related to the collection and review of ballot cards,’ as outlined in the governor’s veto message of AB 616 (the UFW’s 2021 card check bill), the UFW and California Legislature pushed forward an even more flawed form of card check, which is effectively forced union submission for farmworkers disguised as mail-in voting.

“To quote language in AB 2183: ‘A labor organization representative may fill out all of the information in a mail ballot.’ Thus the union — with a clear financial stake in the outcome — will displace the state as supervisor of the ‘election.’ So called ‘clarifying language’ would simply remove the mail-in voting option for farmworkers altogether rather than implement a mail-in voting process with integrity measures to ensure genuine protections for farmworkers.

“AB 2183 will unleash a relentless campaign of union pressure and harassment targeting California farmworkers, less than 2% of whom have voted in state-supervised secret ballot elections to pay the UFW 3% of their wages.”

The California Farm Bureau also said it was “deeply disappointed” in Newsom’s decision to sign the bill, the Associated Press reported.

Obituary: KENNETH EVERETT ANDERSEN

November 27, 1936 – September 7, 2022

After a brief and unexpected illness, Kenneth (Kennie) Everett Andersen of Greeley, Colorado, was welcomed home by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. Kennie Andersen was born November 27, 1936, in Ault, Colorado, to George and Doris (Everett) Andersen. He has joyfully reunited with his parents and his wife of 50 years, Sandra (Sandy) Elaine Andersen (Sall), who preceded his passing in October 2010. Kennie and Sandy married March 12, 1960, and formed a strong partnership. On December 14, 1961, Kennie and Sandy purchased the property where the business Andersen’s Sales and Salvage continues to operate. Later that night, their first child Dean was born; Dean and “The Yard” became conjoined twins in the Andersen household. Two years later (Friday the 13th!) December, 1963, brought the birth of their daughter Nancy, completing their family.
Kennie loved both his family and business. As Andersen’s Sales and Salvage grew, Kennie joined various professional organizations, which helped him keep up with the latest technologies, machinery, and education available to the auto and scrap recycling industries, as well as develop a multitude of lifelong friendships, some of which became mentorships. Unfortunately, the years of growth also brought Kennie years of stress, taking his life’s journey down the dark road of alcoholism. By the Grace of God, Kennie emerged from the darkness into the light that only God can deliver through His own Son’s sacrifice on the Cross.
Salvation in Christ quickly became Kennie’s passionate life message and ultimate goal: For ALL to understand, embrace and want Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior. In 2017 Kennie, with the assistance of dear friends, shared his life story and testimony in his book Recycled by Jesus. Over 1,500 copies have been given to friends, family, and many others around the globe. Kennie never hesitated to share his story coupled with God’s grace, forgiveness, and eternal love.
Kennie’s family is rejoicing in his homecoming, including his son Dean (Louisa) Andersen of Greeley, Colorado, and daughter Nancy Andersen of Frisco, Colorado, granddaughter Sarah (Jeff) Willcutts of Greeley and their daughters Kennedy and Charlotte, granddaughter Denise (Jarod) Kessler of Greeley and their son Henry, and granddaughter Jill Andersen of Tucson, Arizona. Also surviving Kennie are his sister Norma Andersen of Fort Collins, Colorado, brother-in-law Clarence (Darlene) Sall, of Greeley, niece Cathi (Marty) Schmidt of Greeley, niece Karen (Tony) Tanking of Hiawatha, Kansas, nephew, Lorin (Julie) Sall of Greeley, and sister-in-law Brenda Sall of Eaton, Colorado, and many great nieces and nephews.
A viewing will take place at Adamson’s Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Avenue, Greeley, Colorado, Friday, September 30 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Services for Kennie’s Celebration of Life will take place at the Weld County Exhibition Building at Island Grove Park, 525 North 15th Avenue, Greeley, Colorado, on Saturday, October 1. Viewing will take place from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.; services will follow at 10:30. a.m. All who knew and loved Kennie are welcome to join his family in this tribute to a man who lived a great life and gave more than he received. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Dayspring Christian Academy, 3734 W. 20th Street, Greeley, Colorado 80634.

Obituary: BILLY K. KELLEY

November 14, 1931 – September 18, 2022

Billy K. Kelley, age 90, of Longmont died Sunday September 18, 2022 at Atria Assisted Living Center.

Billy was born in Dyersburg, Tenn on November 14, 1931 and grew up on the family farm. He was active in FFA during his high school years and showed Duroc hogs in local county fairs and State Fairs, winning many champion ribbons with his projects. When he sold his hog herd, he gave the money to his mother so she could purchase the living room furniture she had not been able to afford.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1951, proudly serving his country for 10 years before being honorably discharged in 1961. It was while on a weekend pass from his base in Cheyenne, Wyoming that he met his wife-to-be (JoAnne Thomas) at the Elitch Gardens dance pavilion. His service duty included stationing in Okinawa.

He married JoAnne Thomas of Longmont on January 24, 1952 . They settled in Hygiene at the end of his military service and started farming again. He further supported his family with various other jobs including as an insurance agent, railroad brakeman, and manufacturing. In 1967 he went to work for IBM, filling many duties ranging from warehousing, inventory control, to Global Distribution Specialist. He retired from IBM in 1991 and returned to his other passions which were raising hogs for several more years, fishing, hunting, and gardening. At one time his garden was an acre of gladiolas. Some of his favorite times were spent with family and grand-kids, and outdoor activities with his buddies Lyle, Jerry, and Marvin.

Billy is survived by one brother Gene Paul (Jane) Kelley of N. Carolina; two daughters, Karen (Rich) Hamilton of Berthoud and Anne (Fred) Miller of Longmont; two sons, Michael Kelley of Longmont and David (Cindy) Kelley of Longmont; five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and numerous nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his wife, JoAnne, on Nov 18, 2014; his son Ronald Kelley and grandson Jeffrey Kelley; three sisters and three brothers. His parents were William and Ola Bee (Palmer) Kelley.

No visitation is scheduled. Services will be at 10:00 am Friday, October 14, 2022 at Calvary Baptist Church in Longmont, with Pastor Lane Hardy officiating. Cremation burial will be at Foothills Gardens of Memory Cemetery with full military honors provided my American Legion Post 32 of Longmont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Tru Community Care Hospice c/o Carroll-Lewellen Funeral & Cremation Services, 503 Terry St., Longmont, 80501.