Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday June 3 Ag News

Ricketts Proclaims June as Dairy Month in Nebraska

On Saturday, Governor Pete Ricketts proclaimed June as Dairy Month in Nebraska during a ceremony at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.  Dairy Month is celebrated in Nebraska each June to highlight the importance of Nebraska’s dairy farmers to agriculture and the state’s economy.

“Dairy farmers in Nebraska make significant contributions to our state’s economic growth as well as high-quality milk for our families.  Thanks to their good work, Nebraska is a top-ten state in both production and revenue per dairy cow,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Our state’s plentiful feed supplies and abundant water resources, along with our pro-agriculture policies, make Nebraska an ideal home for dairies.”

Nebraska is a net exporter of milk, sending two million pounds out of state each day.  Thanks to the state’s central location, milk produced locally can reach almost every corner of the continental United States within two days.  Nebraska’s cow numbers are up 7% since 2014, and dairy farmers anticipate additional growth in the coming years.

Kris Bousquet of the Nebraska State Dairy Association (NSDA) touted the state as a great place for dairy processors to do business.  “A processor who comes to Nebraska will have immediate access to milk produced right here, and dairy farmers will be thrilled to reduce their transportation costs in the process,” he said.  “The next dairy processor to stake a claim in Nebraska is going to have the pick of the litter in terms of location and the opportunity to connect with dairy farmers.”

A team of organizations have joined forces to lead the state’s Grow Nebraska Dairy initiative.  These include the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Public Power District, the University of Nebraska, the NSDA, and the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska.

“Nebraska is a great place to milk cows,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.  “We have abundant, high-quality feed and water resources that lead to a top-ten level of milk production per cow.  Nebraska is ready to grow and add value to our agricultural products through the dairy sector.”

Dairy Farmers of America Turns Social Currency into Real Milk Money

Kicked off on World Milk Day, June 1, and throughout the month of June, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) will help raise awareness and provide relief towards the summer nutrition gap felt by nearly 18 million students who rely on school lunch programs across the country— almost twice the population of New York City. To do this, DFA is rallying around the power of social media and the support of celebrity chef Christina Tosi to share out this message and raise donations based on social actions. For each social post during the month of June, using #GiveMilkMoney, DFA will donate one gallon of milk, through its DFA Cares Foundation, to kids in need through Feeding America food banks across the country.

“DFA is made up of hardworking family farm-owners and employees who understand the power dairy has towards helping those in need and its nutritional benefits,” said Kristen Coady, vice president of communications at DFA. “As a dairy cooperative and an industry, we have a responsibility to help nourish the communities we are a part of and this #GiveMilkMoney initiative aims to do just that.”

As part of the effort to close the summer nutritional gap, DFA is bringing new meaning to social currency by donating one gallon of milk for every social post using #GiveMilkMoney. To bring the #GiveMilkMoney movement alive in DFA’s hometown of Kansas City, custom milk money ATMs and a family friendly pop-up experience were located in the River Market in Kansas City, Mo. Traditionally seen as vehicles to receive, these customized ATMs were converted into the ultimate giving machines that allowed users to donate with their social currency and encourage their friends to donate through an automated tweet and retweet. After donating with their social currency, participants received a free bowl of milk and cereal to further enjoy the goodness of dairy.

World Milk Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to recognize the importance of milk as a global food. It has been observed on June 1 each year since 2001. The day is intended to provide an opportunity to bring attention to activities that are connected with the dairy sector.

To join the #GiveMilkMoney movement and enable DFA to donate milk, simply post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #GiveMilkMoney and DFA will donate up to 10,000 gallons of milk. For more information on how to help, visit,

Wheat, Pulse, and Double Crop Field Day, June 18 at ENREC near Mead

A more diverse crop rotation can play a fundamental role in managing yield limiting factors, increase resilience to extreme weather, and distribute workload. Join Nebraska Extension on Tuesday, June 18 for the Eastern Nebraska Wheat, Pulse, and Double Crop Field Day. The field day will be held at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead located at 1071 County Road G in Saunders County.

The program starts at 9:00 am and runs to 4:00 in the afternoon in Tuesday, June 18. Registration starts at 8:30 with coffee and donuts served. In the morning, there will be short presentations on winter wheat, pulses, and double crop production in eastern Nebraska including a panel discussion with some local producers. Lunch will be catered by Parker’s Smokehouse. In the afternoon, attendees will head out for plot tours and demos.

The event is free to attendee thanks to grants and sponsors. We do ask you pre-register by Friday, June 14, online at or call the Dodge County Extension Office at 402-727-2775 to ensure we have enough food for all.

Speakers and topics for the first morning session on winter wheat include:
·       Nebraska Wheat Board Update from Royce Schaneman, Executive Director of Nebraska Wheat
·       The Word on Wheat with Dr. Nathan Mueller, Cropping System Educator
·       UAV or Drone Work in Wheat with Dr. Yeyin Shi, Ag Information Systems Engineering Assistant Professor

Speakers and topics for the second morning session on pulses include:
·       The Pulse on Peas by Alex Rosa and Sam Koeshall, UNL Graduate Students
·       Double Cropping Short Season Crops and Forages after Field Peas with Dr. Mary Drewnoski and Alex Rosa
·       Eating Wheat and Pulse Products: Health Benefits with Beth Nacke, Registered Dietician
·       Eastern Nebraska wheat, pulse, and double crop grower panel

After lunch, plot tours and demonstrations run from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Tours and demonstrations include:
·       Pulse crop variety trial walk-through and discussion
·       Double crop Q and A
·       Winter wheat variety trial walk-through and discussion
·       Wheat diseases ID and discussion
·       Nitrogen and sulfur fertilization study
·       Drone and sensor demo in wheat

Again to get pre-registered for the Eastern Nebraska Wheat, Pulse Crop, and Double Crop Field Day this on Tuesday, June 18 near Mead, please call the Dodge County Extension Office at 402-727-2775 or pre-register online at .

Pilot Project Will Assist Nebraska Farmers in Addressing Ephemeral Gullies on Highly Erodible Land

Nebraska is one of five states selected by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to take part in a pilot project that will provide financial assistance to farmers to address ephemeral gullies on highly erodible land.

State Conservationist Craig Derickson said there is an application deadline of July 19, 2019, for the $2 million available in Nebraska through the pilot project. He said priority will be given to applicants with tracts that were selected for conservation compliance reviews in the past two years and received variances to address ephemeral gully erosion.

Since the passage of the 1985 Farm Bill, farmers have been required to control erosion on fields that are classified as highly erodible. Each spring, NRCS conducts compliance reviews on a random selection of highly erodible fields to determine if erosion has been adequately controlled. A non-compliance ruling can affect benefits that farmers receive from USDA agencies, including Conservation Reserve Program payments and Price Loss Coverage. If erosion control issues are identified during compliance reviews, farmers may be given variances, which provide time for farmers to make adjustments and install needed conservation practices.

Ephemeral gullies are those areas in cropland fields where small gullies appear after heavy rains. Discing an ephemeral gully leaves nutrient-rich topsoil vulnerable to erosion. Fixing the gullies with conservation practices protects productivity and water quality and allows farmers with highly erodible land to continue receiving USDA benefits.

Derickson said the pilot project will provide cost-share funding to farmers to implement conservation practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, no-till, contour farming, buffer strips, terraces, waterways and others.

“Our advice to a farmer with an ephemeral gully is to ‘fix it, don’t disc it.’ Work with your local NRCS staff to develop conservation alternatives that will address your erosion issue,” Derickson said. “As a natural resources agency we are dedicated to working with farmers and ranchers to figure out ways for them to produce agricultural products in ways that are both economical to them while protecting the resources. This pilot provides us with additional funding to do that.”

Other states involved in the pilot project are Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. For more information or to apply for assistance contact the NRCS office serving your county. NRCS offices can be found in the phone book under “U.S. Government, Department of Agriculture,” or online at

USDA Invites Farmers to Join Acreage Reporting Pilot Project

Producers in 19 Nebraska counties are being asked to consider participating in a pilot project to test their ability to use precision ag data for reporting acreage to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies.

Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Nancy Johner and USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) Regional Director Collin Olsen have announced the agencies are looking for producers to test the transfer of data collected by their planting equipment as part of a streamlining initiative. The data will be processed by an approved third-party provider and transmitted directly to FSA and RMA as part of the Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI).

Acreage crop reporting is an important step farmers and ranchers take to be eligible for many USDA programs and services, such as federal crop insurance administered by RMA and farm programs administered by FSA. The acreage reporting date for spring-planted crops is July 15, 2019.

“An increasing number of producers are using precision ag technology in their field equipment,” said Johner. “It’s logical to use the data gathered by that equipment in a way that saves the producer and our office time and paperwork. It’s information they are going to share with us anyway for program compliance purposes.”

The Nebraska FSA county offices participating in the pilot include Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes-North Sioux, Frontier, Furnas, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Kearney, Keith, Kimball, Lincoln, Morrill, Perkins, Phelps, Red Willow, Saline, Sheridan and Webster.

“Farmers still will have to visit their participating FSA county office and also work with their crop insurance agent to validate transmitted data, sign the final acreage reports and provide any additional information,” said Olsen. “By helping test this pilot now, we will continue to improve and streamline the process and ensure farmers in the future can spend more time farming and less time filling out paperwork.”

Producers located in the pilot project counties who are interested in participating should contact their FSA county office. For more information on ACRSI visit

RFA Congratulates Husker Ag LLC on Hitting One-Billion Gallon Milestone

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) on May 30th congratulated member company Husker Ag LLC, as it recently produced its one-billionth gallon of ethanol.  The Plainview, Nebraska facility began production in 2003 and expanded its production capacity in 2007. Today, the company produces more than 300,000 gallons of ethanol per day.

“All of us at RFA congratulate Husker Ag on this momentous achievement,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Husker Ag’s investors, board, and staff should be very proud of the many positive impacts they have made on the Plainview community. The company supports dozens of good jobs, adds value to locally grown crops, and plays an important role in providing consumers with cleaner and more affordable fuels at the pump.”

Seth Harder, Husker Ag’s general manager and an RFA board member, commented, “I couldn’t be more proud of the work that the staff has delivered over the last three years to achieve the goals set forth by the Board of Directors to increase gallons, improve our yield and lower our energy per gallon. Hitting the billion-gallon mark is just the type of milestone achievement that commemorates all our hard work. I’m very proud to have been a part of this company since 2002.”

Husker Ag President Robert Brummels added, “Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors and the owners of the company, we are very grateful to the employees for their hard work and commitment to the company.  We are happy that we have provided the owners of the company with a great return on the dollars they invested in Husker Ag.  We are proud that we have provided the local corn producers with a better price for their grain than they might have had without a local end user of corn and we thank them for their patronage.  We are grateful to the local livestock producers for buying the distillers grain.  We are delighted that we have provided local motorists with a clean burning environment friendly fuel, that decreases the cost of filling the tank.  We look forward to many more years of being an economic stimulus to northeast Nebraska.”

Ricketts Proclaims “Detasselers’ Recognition Day” in Nebraska

This morning, Governor Pete Ricketts was joined by Nebraska Corn Board Executive Director Kelly Brunkhorst and detasselers from throughout the state to proclaim June 3, 2019, as Detasselers’ Recognition Day in Nebraska.

“For generations, thousands of Nebraskans have found summer work as detasselers,” said Governor Ricketts.  “These jobs help young Nebraskans save for college and teach them the value and reward of hard work.  That’s why seed corn detasseling contractors in Nebraska have waiting lists of hundreds of Nebraskans willing to work the fields.  I’d like to thank detasselers for working hard to help grow Nebraska agriculture.  I'd also like to thank seed corn companies, like Corteva and Syngenta, that have committed to hire Nebraskans to fill the detasseling jobs here in our state.”

“Seed corn companies that hire Nebraskans to detassel their fields provide tremendous financial and learning opportunities to our state,” said Julie Bohlen, co-founder of S&J Detasseling.  “Summer jobs in detasseling are an important source of income for high school students who are saving for college and for college students with tuition bills to pay.  These jobs are also a terrific way for young Nebraskans to develop character traits like cooperation and fortitude.”

Each summer, more than 7,000 Nebraskans work as detasselers, performing indispensable seasonal labor for seed companies.  They rise early to work in the cornfields and spend long hours in the summer heat to ensure that the cross-pollinating process yields a pure seed.  For students and schoolteachers, detasseling is a welcome source of summer employment and a great way to earn income.  For many Nebraskans, detasseling is their first job and serves as a formative, character-building experience.  Detasselers learn the value of hard work, the importance of teamwork, and skills in leadership.  Detasseling also connects the residents of small towns and cities with Nebraska’s farmers, helping more Nebraskans build ties to the state’s #1 economic industry—agriculture.

Detasselers are typically busiest during July, though crews are already out roguing fields in some locations.

Use of Gender-Selected Semen in Beef Cattle

Steve Neimeyer – NE Extension Educator 

The use of new technologies by the beef industry usually lags its development by researchers. An example of this would be gender-selected semen. The incorporation of this or any new technology is dictated by its necessity and positive economic advantage. Semen sorted for a specific gender (sexed semen) became commercially available in 2003 for dairy cattle but did not have significant use by the industry until 2006. On the other hand, the number of sires with sexed semen available for the beef industry was still 0 (zero) in 2007 but increased to 70 in 2011. The delayed use of gender-sorted semen by the beef industry may be related to the perceived economic return. For the dairy industry the economic benefit for heifer calves over bull calves is huge; however, in the beef industry gender differences in economic return exist but are not as dramatic. Therefore, for the beef industry to adapt this technology more knowledge is need how to capture economic returns from incorporating it.

First it is important to highlight that calves born from gender-selected semen will have similar production traits as their herd mates from conventional semen. For example: birth weight, calving ease, calf vigor, calf health, weaning weight, and mortality rates before weaning do not differ between calves from gender-selected and conventional semen. Second, with recent improvements in this technology conception rates with gender-selected semen are typically between 80% to 95% of conventional semen, in other words if AI conception rates are 60% with conventional semen, with gender-selected semen you would expect conception rates to be between 48% to 57%. One thing to be aware of to get the best possible conception rates is cows that exhibit estrus prior to AI have greater conception rates compared to cows that do not exhibit estrus behavioral. So, the use of gender-selected semen only in animals that exhibit estrus prior to AI will result in greater conception rates. Another method is the delay insemination of nonestrus cows to 20 hours after an injection of GnRH.

Even though gender differences are not as large in the beef industry as they are in the dairy industry, gender-selected semen has many applications which will depend on the herd. In commercial beef cattle a strategy would be to use gender-selected semen to produce replacement heifers. This strategy would start by selecting cows with desired maternal traits, such as age at sexual maturity, milk yield, fertility, maternal behavior, adaptation to the environmental challenges, and longevity. These animals would then be inseminated with gender-selected semen from sires with similar maternal traits. An advantage of this strategy would be the production of top replacement heifers and increasing the rate of genetic change in the herd. In addition, there would be a decrease in the number of steers produced from maternal sires. This benefits the herd as these steers often have decreased performance when compared to steers from terminal sires. When the number of cows to be inseminated with gender-selected semen is achieved the remaining cows can be inseminated to terminal sires knowing these calves will not be kept as replacement heifers. It also brings the opportunity to utilize different breeds, without affecting the herd’s genetic. Similar with herd bulls, since no heifers are expected to be retained from those animals a sire with terminal characteristics or different breed may be used. Another alternative, would be inseminate the remaining females with male selected semen from terminal sires, increasing the proportion of steers produced from terminal sires in the herd. Overall, the inclusion of gender-selected semen can bring economic advantages to the beef industry. However, there are situation in which the use of gender-selected semen can negatively impact the economic return of a herd too. If only female selected semen is used to inseminate the entire herd; this will optimize the selection of replacement heifers but the proportion of male:female calves will shift from an approximately 50:50 to a greater number of females what could affect economic returns due to lower prices for heifers sold to slaughter. If only male selected semen is used to inseminate the entire herd; this will optimize the genetic performance of steer calves for slaughter but removes any genetic benefit of AI on the future of the herd as replacement heifers can only be selected from calves born from the clean-up bull. Thus, the use of gender-selected semen in a beef herd has the opportunity to benefit the overall performance and future of the herd, but care must be given to implement this technology correctly.

Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund Opens Second Round of Assistance Helping Farmers, Ranchers, and Rural Communities

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund has opened a second round of distributions. Applications are welcome and encouraged from new and repeat applicants.

The Disaster Relief Fund has collected more than $2.5 million, with 100 percent of the funds going to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. The application process can be completed online at Farm Bureau membership is not required to apply for or receive assistance.

Both new applicants and prior recipients who wish to be considered for additional assistance should complete the updated application form.

“During this second round, we will be asking for more detailed information to help us better evaluate remaining needs and where our fund can help the most,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

For assistance accessing the online application, call (402) 421-4747.

“I want to say thank you to all of the individuals, organizations, and companies who have contributed to the fund. Your generosity has helped hundreds of people all around Nebraska. We continue to seek financial donations to meet the growing number of requests coming into the Disaster Relief Fund,” said Steve Nelson, president of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

To donate, apply for assistance, or access other disaster resources, visit


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed legislation to provide assistance for presidentially declared disasters, including the March 2019 “bomb cyclone” which struck Nebraska. This vote came after the Senate recently voted in favor of this bill, and will now be sent to the President’s desk.

“I am glad we were able to come together and provide much needed relief to areas of our country, including Nebraska, which have been so devastated by natural disasters. We can now push further ahead with recovery efforts. Thousands of Nebraskans were affected by blizzards, rain, wind, and flooding, and this is another step as we rebuild.”

Growth Energy, Casey’s General Store Announce Accelerated E15 Store Openings Thanks to Approval of Year-Round Sales of E15

Today, Growth Energy and Casey’s General Stores announced that Casey’s will expand its E15 offering to more than 60 new sites this summer across their footprint following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of E15 year-round. E15, known the consumers as Unleaded 88, is a fuel with 15 percent ethanol and is approved for all cars 2001 and newer. In their statements, Casey’s and Growth Energy attributed this rapid expansion to the lifting of an outdated regulation that now allows American drivers to access the cleaner, more affordable biofuel all year-round.

“The summertime E15 restrictions have been a major concern for us for a long time and would typically slow down our E15 expansion,” said Casey’s Director of Fuels Nathaniel Doddridge. “Now that we know we can provide our guests with a consistent experience at the fuel pump year-round, we are expanding E15 at a faster pace to stay ahead of our competition.”

“Growth Energy has relentlessly led the fight on year-round E15 to grow the ethanol marketplace and give all drivers access to a cleaner, engine smart fuel,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We are thrilled that Casey’s will be rolling out E15 at dozens of new sites this summer, and know from conversations with retailers all over the country that they will soon be joined by others who’ve been waiting for this day.”

E15 is currently sold at 1,807 stations in 31 states. To learn more about Growth Energy’s work to unlock access to E15 year-round, visit

Free Webinar Helps Fuel Marketers, Others Understand E15

Now that the EPA has approved E15 for year-round use in conventional gasoline markets, the Renewable Fuels Association will host a webinar to help retailers and others in the supply chain learn how this decision impacts the marketplace and how retailers can now engage in year-round sales. The webinar will be at no cost to participants and all are welcome to join. Participants will learn all about efforts to educate consumers on E15.

The one-hour webinar will take place starting at 10 a.m. CT Thursday, June 6. Click here to register....

“Fuel blenders and retailers have been waiting nine years for year-round approval of E15 and it has finally arrived,” said Robert White, RFA’s Vice President of Industry Relations. “It is time to help those interested in offering E15 understand the final rulemaking, what it takes to offer E15 and assist them through the process.”

E15 already has a proven track record for saving drivers money at the pump and reducing emissions, and today’s action will ensure that more Americans are able to enjoy those benefits. Year-round E15 will also provide a badly needed long-term demand boost for our industry and America’s farmers, who face several daunting challenges today.

E15 Facts:
-    American drivers have travelled more than 8 billion hassle-free miles on E15 without a single reported problem since it was first commercially introduced in 2012.
-    More than 93 percent of the vehicles on the road today are legally approved by EPA to use E15.
-    E15 typically sells for 3-10 cents per gallon less than E10 gasoline, saving drivers money with each fill-up.
-    E15 reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and tailpipe pollution compared to conventional gasoline. According to a review of available studies, E15’s benefits “…include a reduction in cancer risk from vehicle exhaust and evaporative emissions [and] a reduction in the potential to form ozone or photochemical smog…”

USDA:  Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.15 million tons (172 million bushels) in April 2019, compared with 5.38 million tons (179 million bushels) in March 2019 and 5.15 million tons (172 million bushels) in April 2018. Crude oil produced was 1.99 billion pounds down 5 percent from March 2019 but up 1 percent from April 2018. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.46 billion pounds during April 2019 increased 3 percent from March 2019 and increased 2 percent from April 2018.

Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 493 million bushels in April 2019. Total corn consumption was down slightly from March 2019 and down 1 percent from April 2018. April 2019 usage included 91.3 percent for alcohol and 8.7 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 3.69 million bushels, up 7 percent from March 2019 and up 19 percent from April 2018. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 440 million bushels, was up slightly from March 2019 but down 1 percent from April 2018. Corn consumed in April 2019 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 90.7 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for June 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for June 2019, which are effective June 1-June 30, 2019. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for June is 2.375 percent, same as it was in May.

The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during June is 3.375 percent, same as it was in May.  Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for June are as follows: 2.250 percent with three-year loan terms, same as it was in May; 2.250 percent with five-year loan terms, down from 2.375 percent in May; 2.375 percent with seven-year loan terms, down from 2.500 percent in May; 2.500 percent with 10-year loan terms, same as in May; and 2.500 percent with 12-year loan terms, same as in May.

Farm Service Agency County Committee Nominations Open June 14

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin accepting nominations for county committee members on Friday, June 14, 2019. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate.

“I encourage America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest stewards to nominate candidates to lead, serve, and represent their community on their county committee,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “There’s an increasing need for diverse representation including underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and minority farmers and ranchers.”

Committees make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Their input is vital on how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.”

Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serving on FSA county committees. The committees are made of three to 11 members and typically meet once a month. Members serve three-year terms. Producers serving on our FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency.

Producers should visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. Check with your local USDA service center to see if your local administrative area is up for election this year. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also may nominate candidates.

To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at All nomination forms for the 2019 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2019.

Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4, 2019. Read more to learn about important election dates.

National FFA Organization’s Washington Leadership Conference Instills Importance of Growth, Leadership, Community Service

For the past fifty years,  FFA members from across the country converge on Washington, D.C.,  in the summer to evaluate their personal skills and interests, develop leadership talent and create service plans that will make a difference in their communities.

This year is no different. Created in 1969 and held annually, the conference begins June 4 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. More than 2,300 students are registered for the 2019 Washington Leadership Conference, the second-largest student experience that the National FFA Organization hosts each year.

FFA members can attend the conference during one of seven weeks through July 27.  They will spend the week under the guidance of professionals, counselors and FFA staff. In workshops, seminars and small groups, members will focus on identifying and developing their personal strengths and goals while undergoing comprehensive leadership training that will help them guide their local FFA chapters. The capstone of the event will be a civic engagement activity where participants apply what they have learned to a hands-on activity.

Members will also analyze the needs of their communities, develop wide-ranging and high-impact community service initiatives and implement their plans with the help of their FFA chapters upon return home. Students in recent years have promoted agricultural literacy; brought attention to abuse; collected and distributed shoes to individuals in Haiti; created a hunger awareness plan and more.

FFA members will experience the history of the nation's capital and tour landmarks including the Washington Monument, the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol, among others. Members will also have an opportunity to participate in congressional visits during the week.

The 2019 Washington Leadership Conference is sponsored by title sponsors CSX and Farm Credit and weekly sponsors Bayer, Syngenta, General Mills, Merck Animal Health, Growth Energy and Nutrien. For more information, visit

ASA President Joins Corteva Agriscience™ at NYSE Opening Bell Ceremony

American Soybean Association (ASA) President Davie Stephens joined Corteva Agriscience™ at 9:30 a.m. EST today for the opening bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to mark the company’s official launch.

“It’s an honor to join Corteva this morning for such a storied and famed tradition as the NYSE bell-ringing ceremony,” said ASA President and Kentucky soybean grower Davie Stephens.

“Companies like Corteva provide tools and solutions for farmers as we strive to maximize yields and profitability while reinforcing commitments to sustainable agriculture practices. U.S. soybean producers are the best in the world at producing the safest, most nutrient-filled and affordable soybeans, which is why I’m proud to join Corteva for their official independent business launch today.”

Corteva Agriscience is now trading as an independent, pure-play global agriculture leader, following the successful separation from DowDuPont on June 1, 2019. Corteva is a leader uniquely positioned to drive growth with world-class innovation, deep customer relationships, and innovative solutions across seed, crop protection and digital that farmers need to maximize yield and profitability.

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