Safety on the Farm Pays Dividends

Colorado Livestock Association Safety Group members returned $1.9 million in performance dividends over 17 years.

Greeley, CO – Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) members lead the industry in their commitment to creating a safe workplace for their employees. The CLA Safety Group Program has been in place since 2001, and was designed to reduce Workers Compensation costs by promoting safety and claims management on farms and ranches.

Photo Caption (Left to Right): Pinnacol Assurance representatives David Knell, Safety Services, Joe Newhouse, Agency Relationship Manager, CLA Staff Bill Hammerich, CEO, Jessica Lemmel, Director of Communications, Kellee Mitchell, Administrative Coordinator, brokers for the CLA Safety Group, Brian Schiller, Flood and Peterson, and Peggy Rafert, HUB International.


House and Senate Party Caucus Leadership Elections November 8, 2018

The party leadership in both chambers is set for the 2019 session. Many of the selections made by the four caucuses were predictable, but there were some surprises.

As expected, Democratic Rep. KC Becker of Boulder was elected speaker of the House, and Democratic Sen. Leroy Garcia of Pueblo was elected president of the Senate. Becker was House majority leader for all of last session, and Garcia became minority leader in the middle of the 2018 session.

Becker has served in the House since being appointed to her seat in October 2013. Garcia was elected to his second four-year term on Tuesday. He’s the first Latino Senate president and previously served in the House.

Senate Republicans, now in the minority, provided a bit of a surprise when Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling, who has been president pro tempore, didn’t run for any leadership posts. He’d been expected to be Senate president if the GOP had held the majority. House Republicans basically re-elected their current leadership.

House Democrats had a long caucus but only one contested race, while the Senate Democrats saw four of seven races contested and decided by secret ballots.

Statehouse observers had been anxiously awaiting the caucus meetings to learn who would be selected to serve on the Joint Budget Committee, which lost four of six members to term limits. Here’s who was selected and who may be named later:

• Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, who’s been on JBC since 2015
• Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, who’s served on the committee for two sessions and will be chair in 2019
• Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Broomfield, is an educator who’s served three sessions and hasn’t previously been involved with budget issues
• Sen.-elect Dennis Hisey, R-Fountain, a former El Paso County commissioner

House Democratic leadership will name two members of the JBC. They are expected to be:

• Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, who has been vice chair of the Capital Development Committee, which is kind of a “mini JBC” with oversight over capital spending requests
• Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, who also has served on Capital Development

Each chamber has three seats on the budget committee, with the majority party getting two. Because of split party control, the committee has had three Democrats and three Republicans for the past few sessions, making bipartisan compromise on the budget essential.

Here are the results of all leadership elections:

House Democrats
(38-42 of 65 seats, had 36 last session)

Democrats will control the House in 2019; the only question is how big their majority will be. Tuesday’s election gave them 38 seats, but the winners of four races remain to be determined because of razor-thin differences in vote totals. Democrats are currently ahead in 3 of those 4 races, with votes still being counted. The caucus decided to go ahead with leadership elections even though the membership isn’t fully determined.

The Democratic members overflowed the benches in one of the Capitol’s largest meeting rooms, and several members commented with some amazement about the size of the caucus for the upcoming session.

• Speaker – KC Becker
• Majority leader – Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver, who was assistant majority leader last session and helped organize Democratic campaigns this year
• Assistant majority leader – Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood (nominee Rep. Lesley Herod, D-Denver, was defeated.)
• Caucus chair – Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder
• Deputy caucus chair – Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City
• Whips – Rep. James Coleman, D-Denver, and Rep. Jeff Bridges, D-Cherry Hills. (The caucus decided to change the old designations of whip and assistant whip to co-whips)

House Republicans
(27-23 of 65 seats, had 29 last session)

Given existing divisions within this caucus and the fact that Republicans lost seats, there was some speculation that leadership might change. But members were in a unified mood in public Wednesday. Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, had been interested in running for minority leader but withdraw her name during the caucus. (She was nominated by Rep. Jim Wilson, R-Salida.) So, all current leaders except the assistant minority leader were re-elected.

• Minority leader – Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock
• Assistant Minority Leader – Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, R-Highlands Ranch
• Caucus chair – Rep. Lori Saine, R-Firestone
• Whip – Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor
• JBC member – Rankin, R-Carbondale

Senate Democrats
(19 of 35 seats, had 16 last session)

Several leadership positions were contested and decided by written ballots after contending candidates made brief speeches. The new Senate Democratic caucus is a diverse group with 11 women (eight white, two black and one Latina) and nine men (six white and three Latino). Though, both Jones and Kefalas won races for County Commissioner and will be replaced in the Senate, likely by women.

• President – Garcia
• President pro tempore – Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver. She was elected over fellow Denver Democrat Angela Williams
• Major Leader – Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder. He was not up for election this year so helped coordinate other Democratic Senate campaigns. He defeated Zenzinger
• Assistant majority leader – Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora
• Caucus chair – Sen.-elect Faith Winter, D-Westminster.
• Whip – Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail. She defeated Williams
• JBC members – Moreno and Zenzinger

Senate Republicans
(16 of 35 seats, had 18 last session)

The Senate GOP lineup is much the same as last session, with the exception of Sonnenberg and Senate President Kevin Grantham of Canon City, who’s leaving because of term limits.

• Minority leader – Sen. Chris Holbert, R-Parker (was majority leader last session)
• Assistant minority leader – Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley
• Caucus chair – Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins
• Whip – Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction
• JBC member – Sen.-elect Dennis Hisey, R-Fountain


This report was prepared by Frontline Public Affairs staff and Todd Engdahl of Capitol Editorial Services, a statehouse reporting and research service.

The Race for Governor: Where do they stand on agriculture issues?

As Election Day approaches, review each candidates views on key issues affecting livestock agriculture, including; animal welfare, immigration, Colorado Water Plan and others.

Listed below are the position statements from the candidates official websites at the time of publication. Colorado Livestock Association does not endorse either candidate for Governor.

Animal Welfare

Jared Polis:

In 2008, Colorado passed landmark legislation improving livestock confinement practices. I believe that ten years later, it’s time to revisit that law to make sure we are consistent with the most humane and up-to-date livestock confinement practices for all animals. For example, Colorado produces over 100 million eggs per year, and healthier hens produce healthier eggs. Chickens that have sufficient room to walk, stretch their wings, and socialize live longer and produce more eggs. To reduce the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, we will direct the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture to identify and encourage best practices to prevent the overuse of antibiotics on farm animals.

Read the full statement on Polis for Colorado

Walker Stapleton:

CLA was unable to find a statement on the Stapleton for Colorado website on animal welfare.


Jared Polis:

“During my time in Congress, I have been a staunch advocate for the rights of immigrant workers in our state, and I will continue in that tradition as governor. From calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to end their raids of meat-processing plants, to pushing for the Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, I have strongly fought against policies that rip families apart and do harm to local communities and their economies.

Currently, too many Colorado farmers and ranchers are having trouble securing a reliable workforce. We will represent the state’s farmers and ranchers in advocating for commonsense immigration reform that reforms the H2A visa program that clear red-tape, reduce costs, and improves workforce predictability and retention.”

Read the full statement on Polis for Colorado

Walker Stapleton:

“The proliferation of so-called ‘Sanctuary Cities’ is a direct threat to public safety and rule of law in Colorado. These policies have put new challenges in front of our law enforcement community who have now been told by certain jurisdictions to ignore federal immigration laws. No Sheriff, Police Chief or any of our public safety officer should EVER be fearful of retaliation or litigation simply for upholding their oath office to ensure public safety in Colorado.”

Read the full statement on Stapleton for Colorado

Colorado’s Water Plan

Jared Polis:

“My administration will put us on a long-term path to sustainably funding and implementing the Colorado Water Plan. We will limit the use of buy-and-dry and increase storage capacity, while taking advantage of opportunities provided by alternative transfer methods (ATMs). This idea is not without controversy; farmers and ranchers who are skeptical of ATMs have every right to be. So, let me state my administration will always seek a balanced approach to managing population growth while supporting agriculture production. ”

Read the full statement on Polis for Colorado

Walker Stapleton:

“I commend Governor Hickenlooper and the stakeholders who came together to draft the plan. However, it will be my responsibility as Colorado’s next Governor to implement the plan; incentivizing water conservation and developing more storage. The water plan relies on our energy industry, which is why Colorado needs a Governor who believes in an all-of-the-above energy policy. Agriculture accounts for 89% of Colorado’s water usage, which is why it is so crucial we get this right.”

Read the full statement on Stapleton for Colorado


View the full list of issues on each candidates website by clicking on a link below.

Jared Polis for Colorado        Walker Stapleton for Colorado



Applications for the Pesticide Advisory Committee Agricultural Worker Representative

The Pesticide Advisory Committee (PAC) was created under section 35-10-125, C.R.S., of the Pesticide Applicators Act (PAA), to assist the commissioner in promulgating rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of the PAA. The committee consists of fifteen members.


All members of the advisory committee must be residents of the State of Colorado and each member serves on the committee for a term of three years. The Committee meets quarterly (Jan, April, July, Oct) on the the last Monday of the month.

The PAC members responsibilities are to help the Department in the promulgation of Rules which entails reviewing and discussing any proposed Rules with the Department during scheduled meetings, reaching out to the industry they represent to communicate these changes that may effect them, and then providing the Department feedback on the Rule for its consideration.

The Department has three positions it needs to fill including one for a representative from the agricultural sector who handles/harvests a plant/agricultural product after it has been sprayed with a pesticide and that the Federal Worker Protection Standard law applies to.

If you are interested in filling one or more of these positions, please submit the nomination form to John W. Scott, Pesticides Program Manager at 303-869-9056 or by email at

The next Ag Commission meeting where these nominations will be considered, will be February 13, 2019.

To download the application click here.

To learn more about the Pesticide Advisory Committee click here.

Livestock Producers Meet to Discuss Environmental Regulations in Fort Morgan

The Colorado Livestock Association’s (CLA) Natural Resources Committee met for its annual meeting on Tuesday, October 23, 2018.

CLA members, including; Gary and Laura Teague, Justin Miller, Julie McCaleb, Todd Sigmon, Tom Haren and Bill Hammerich, CLA CEO met in Fort Morgan and were joined by staff from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Environmental Ag Program; Sean Scott, Environmental Ag Program Deputy Division Director, Chad DeVolin, Program Coordinator, Technical Leads Mike Sherry, Bonnie Laws and Thaine Kramer and Bradley Turpin, Milk and Correction Program Coordinator.

Topics of discussion, included; the eReporting Rule which goes into effect in 2020; how to simplify nutrient management plans; the upcoming CAFO/HCSFO inspections by Tetratech; location and method of disposal of mortalities; and increased use of technology in meeting permit requirements. Currently, there are 89 permitted CAFO’s and 114 registered CAFO’s in Colorado.

In 2005, Colorado Livestock Association members were instrumental in the formation of the Environmental Ag Program to the benefit of Colorado’s livestock industry. The Environmental Ag Program administers air and water quality protection regulations specific to animal feeding operations, including permitting, conducting site inspections, developing and implementing policies and regulations, providing technical assistance and initiating enforcement actions in coordination with the Air and Water Quality divisions.


About the Environmental Ag Program

The CDPHE’s Environmental Agriculture Program focuses on permitting and compliance assurance for Colorado’s animal feeding operations. The Ag Program is primarily producer-funded, through fees set in state law. Since 2005, the Ag Program has collaborated with the agricultural sector through policy-making, regulation, technical guidance, inspections, compliance assistance, annual stakeholder meetings and quarterly newsletters.

The Ag Program is comprised of three technical leads, Bonnie Laws, Thaine Kramer and Mike Sherry, along with Chad DeVolin, the program manager. The Ag Program strives to be a “one-stop shop” for producers. Each technical lead is assigned a region of the state and they provide comprehensive assistance in those regions for the regulations that the Program administers. If Ag Program customers need assistance from other state programs, the Ag Program helps put producers in contact with the right people or the right information.

The Ag Program manages four regulations that apply to animal feeding operations. Regulation No. 61 assures clean water through federal law, and applies to permitted concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and housed commercial swine feeding operations (HCSFOs). Regulation No. 81 assures clean water through state law, and applies to permitted CAFOs, non-permitted CAFOs, and smaller animal feeding operations (AFOs). Regulation No. 66 regulates financial assurance for HCSFOs and Regulation No. 2 protects air quality through state law for HCSFOs.

If you are interested in learning more about the Ag Program, or would like to discuss issues affecting your operation, please contact the Ag Program at 303-692-3520 or by email at Learn more online here.

Investing in the Future

Colorado Livestock Association Invests in Next Generation of Beef Leaders

Investing in the next generation comes naturally to livestock producers. For Colorado Livestock Association (CLA), that investment includes helping to train future industry leaders like Christine Gabel, Gabel Cattle, LLC.

Raised on a diversified livestock operation in Eaton, CO, Gabel represented CLA on the 2018 Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). Now in its 39th year, YCC is designed to develop the next generation of ranchers, beef producers, and advocates. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hosts the program, which takes participants sponsored by state and breed associations on a ten day tour of the beef industry. (more…)

Don’t Miss the 4th Annual Northeast Livestock Symposium!

CattleFax Market Update, Wastewater Discharge Liability, Long-Range Weather Outlook and more!

Join livestock producers for the annual Northeast Livestock Symposium, an educational symposium held November 13, 2018 in the Hays Student Center Ballroom at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling (100 College Avenue, Sterling, CO 80751). This year’s event will feature a full day of engaging and informative speakers covering of current topics affecting the livestock industry.

Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax, will provide a market outlook packed with critical information for livestock producers. A native of Yuma, Randy Blach joined CattleFax in 1981 and accepted his current role as CEO in 2001. Blach has been a keynote speaker at hundreds of cattle and beef industry conventions, meetings and seminars.

Brian Bledsoe, Chief Meteorologist, KKTV News and Weather5280, will provide a long-range weather forecast to assist livestock producers strategize and mitigate their risk. Brian grew up on a farm in eastern Colorado and has a keen interest and passion for helping farmers and ranchers in seasonal planning.

Bill DeMoss, Mountain Vet Supply, will teach livestock producers how to ensure the maximum benefit of common antibiotics and vaccines. Bill will share stories from his years of experience working with livestock health products and remind producers on proper handling and safety when treating livestock.

Chris Carrington, a civil and commercial litigator with Richards Carrington, LLC, will share details on a case surrounding a wastewater discharge at a feedyard and the court ruling’s potential long-term impact on the industry.

Registration is FREE, but please register for lunch by Friday, November 9, 2018. Thank you to the event sponsors; AGPROfessionals, Elanco Animal Health, Pinnacol Assurance and Zoetis.

View the full schedule and register online:

Farm Bill Conservation Programs Under An Expired Farm Bill

Since Congress did not pass an extension of the current Farm Bill when it expired at midnight on September 30th, some programs have expired and/or run out of funding. Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was funded through 2019 via previous appropriations. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has spoken to Jimmy Bramblett, the Deputy Chief for Programs at NRCS to get a better idea on the details of other conservation programs and funding. (more…)

There’s a Cow in my Marshmallow?

CLA Helps Teach 4th Graders at the Food 4-Ever Agricultural Fair

The Colorado Livestock Association participated in the 4th annual 4th grade agricultural fair, known as Food 4-Ever hosted by the Windsor School District and the Windsor High School Future Farmers of America this past Wednesday. CLA was asked by Andy Klatt, a physical education teacher from Weld RE-4 School District who organized the fair, to help teach the students and community about livestock production through a lesson or hands-on experience.

Nearly 500 students from the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District, rotated through different presentations given by industry groups and agribusinesses covering everything from setting irrigation tubes, livestock nutrition, composting, honeybees, plant breeding and grain production.


Eastern Colo. Hog Producers Receive Environmental Leadership Award

CLA members, Mountain Prairie, LLC and Smithfield Hog Production, were recognized as Gold Leaders for their efforts in environmental improvement at the 2018 Environmental Leadership Program Awards banquet this past Tuesday.

“We are honored to receive the Gold Award from the Environmental Leadership Program for the second year in a row,” said John Lofdahl, production manager at Mountain Prairie Farms. “We are committed to environmental stewardship and this award is a testament of our efforts.”

The Environmental Leadership Award is given to companies that go above and beyond compliance with state and federal regulations, and who are committed to continual environmental improvement.

“We thank all of our staff for their dedication to setting high standards for environmental excellence with their commitment to going above and beyond the normal regulatory requirement,”  said Julie McCaleb the Environmental Manager for Smithfield Hog Production in Yuma. “We encourage others in the livestock industry to continue their hard work and share their story, which confirms to the general population what livestock agriculture does in our communities in keeping the environment safe.” (more…)

CLA Board of Directors Votes to Support Amendments and Propositions

The Colorado Livestock Association Board of Directors voted to support the following amendments and propositions for the upcoming November election.


Amendment 74: Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation

Amendment 75: Campaign Contributions

Proposition 110: Authorize Sales Tax and Bonds for Transportation Projects

Proposition 111: Limitations on Payday Loans

View more information in the 2018 Blue Book online here. (more…)

Final Public Listening Session for ELD Waiver

The Colorado Livestock Association, along with other state and national organizations, has been working on behalf of the livestock industry to obtain a waiver and exemptions from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) requirement for livestock haulers. This effort will enable Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the livestock industry to undertake the training and education necessary for livestock haulers to fully understand ELDs.

CLA has been participating on the public listening sessions hosted by the FMCSA on potential changes to its hours-of-service (HOS) rules. On Wednesday October 10th there will be a final public listening session regarding the Electronic Logging Devices. (more…)

USDA Announces Plan to Move Disease Traceability Forward

USDA announced four overarching goals for advancing disease traceability in order to protect the long-term health, marketability and economic viability of the U.S. livestock industry.

Animal Disease TraceabilityThe announcement was made at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s 2018 Strategy Forum on Livestock Traceability in Kansas City, Mo.

USDA’s four goals for increasing traceability are:

  1. Advance the electronic sharing of data among federal and state animal health officials, veterinarians and the industry, including sharing basic ADT data with the federal animal health events repository;
  2. Use electronic identification tags for animals requiring individual identification in order to make the transmission of data more efficient;
  3. Enhance the ability to track animals from birth to slaughter through a system that allows tracked data points to be connected; and
  4. Elevate the discussion with states and industry to work toward a system where animal health certificates are electronically transmitted from private veterinarians to state animal health officials.


Building for the Future – Q&A with President Mike Veeman

Mike and Cindy Veeman, Veeman & Sons Dairy

Mike Veeman is a fifth-generation dairyman who, as President, brings the knowledge and experience of a lifetime of animal husbandry to Colorado Livestock Association. Mike began his career in California on his family’s dairy farm, which was relocated to Colorado in the early 1980’s. Alongside his father Andy and his brother Derek, Mike has worked to expand the family’s partnership. Veeman & Sons Dairy is located in Wiggins, Colorado. The family also maintains a ranch outside of Sterling, which is home to both farming and heifer operations.

Beyond his title of “dairyman”, Mike is also a passionate family man. He shares his life with Cindy, his wife of 36 years. They have three children including two married daughters and a son who has returned to the farm to carry the family’s business into the sixth generation. Mike is also a proud Papa to five grandchildren. Mike will serve as President for two years until the CLA Annual Membership Meeting in April of 2020 at which time he will become the Immediate Past President.

What, in your opinion, is the greatest benefit of membership in the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA)?

I am focused on our cows, our employees and the business, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Like my peers in the livestock industry, I do not have the time or resources to dedicate to representing my regulatory and legislative interests. The work that CLA does on behalf of livestock agriculture is vital to our farm and to preserving it for future generations. (more…)

ELD Delay for Livestock Haulers Extended, Petition to FMCSA

CR Transportation document for trucks Congress has not been able to pass the conference report on the last minibus package (HR 6147) that includes- the four bill package of (Agriculture/Interior/Financial Services/Transportation). However, they have just passed (H.R. 6157) which would provide $674.4 billion in defense appropriations and $178.1 billion for various Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education programs. The Senate passed the measure 93-7 last week. It includes a continuing resolution that would extend funding for those agencies not covered by completed appropriations bills (AG and THUD) through Dec. 7. The President has said he will sign this bill package to avert a shutdown. (more…)

Ranchers Eligible to Apply for Losses

PC: The Gazette, Bryan Oller

Livestock producers in Otero and Crowley counties, as well as most of Southeastern Colorado counties are eligible to apply for 2018 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) benefits on native pasture and improved pasture acres.

LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffer grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought on privately owned and cash leased land or fire on federally managed land. Land leased on a AUM basis is in most cases ineligible. (more…)

Equine Infectious Anemia Horse Investigation Update from the State Vet

The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office at CDA has continued to work to trace and test horses involved in the EIA Incident in the State of Colorado.

As of 09/27/2018:

  • Only one confirmed positive horse in Colorado (index case)
  • The index premises in Weld County is under a quarantine order; two associated premises are under hold orders. The 124 exposed horses under quarantine on the index premises tested negative for EIA on 09/10/2018; they will be re-tested on or after 10/19/2018 (sixty days after last exposure to the positive horse).
  • 138 exposed horses have been located in Colorado (out of approximately 152 we expect to be in the state)
  • 61 premises are under hold orders in 24 Colorado counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Costilla, Crowley, Delta, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, Gunnison, Huerfano, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, and Weld.
    Five premises have been released from hold after the 60-day re-tests were completed for all exposed horse(s) on those premises and found to be negative.
  • 72 exposed horses have been positively identified in 12 other states (out of approximately 83 we expect to be out-of-state): Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.


CSU AgInnovation Summit Brings Thought Leaders

The Colorado Livestock Association was proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Colorado State University AgInnovation Summit held September 20-21 at the CSU campus in Fort Collins.

Since its inception in 2015, the CSU AgInnovation Summit has convened diverse perspectives from higher education, industry and government partners to provoke thought and catalyze momentum.

The 2018 conversation explored forces driving and shaping the future of food safety and agricultural biosecurity including innovation in prevention, prediction, mitigation and response. (more…)

Bill Webster Named 2018 Livestock Leader

Bill Webster is presented with the 2018 Livestock Leader Award Colorado State University.

William “Bill” Webster, Past President of the Colorado Cattle Feeder’s Association, now known as the Colorado Livestock Association, was selected as the 2018 Livestock Leader by Colorado State University’s Animal Sciences Department.

Bill has spent his career dedicated to the innovation and progression of the cattle feeding industry and to strengthening his local community.

“His desire to create efficiencies and improvements within the livestock industry made him well known and very well respected,” said Kevin Pond, head of CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. “He also worked diligently to strengthen his community and the state of Colorado.”

Congratulations to Bill Webster on receiving Colorado State University’s 2018 Livestock Leader Award!


Driven by Demand

Marketplace Demand for BQA Certification Increasing Rapidly

Why do producers become Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified? That’s a question that used to be more prevalent in the beef industry. However, based on several upcoming changes in the marketplace, the rationale for participating in the BQA program has become much clearer.

Until recently, among producers who have become BQA certified and follow recommended cattle management guidelines, the vast majority did so because “it’s the right thing to do.” Only a small percentage said they received a premium from a buyer for cattle from a BQA certified producer. As a result, a minority of beef cattle producers in the U.S. are currently BQA certified. However, in the past 12 to 18 months several companies have announced that BQA certification will be required among producers of cattle they purchase. (more…)

An Agent for Change

Colorado State University College of Ag Dean Ajay Menon receives CLA’s highest honor

At the Colorado Livestock Association Annual Meeting, Dean Ajay Menon was presented with the Top Choice Award. The Top Choice Award is given by CLA to those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving livestock agriculture in Colorado. Past honorees have come from all walks of life, but the common denominator has been that they have all embodied a deep-rooted belief in the importance of agriculture to the future of this state, this country and the world.

“Although his background, is not one steeped with great knowledge in the field of livestock production he does possess and brings to the position a strong business sense,” stated Bill Hammerich, Chief Executive Officer of CLA, “Dean Menon is a man of courage and has not shied away from being an agent for change. CLA is honored to recognize him for his contributions to our land grant university and his efforts to make the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University world class.” (more…)

Colorado State University Beef Cattle Field Day & Pasture School

Colorado State University’s Departments of Animal Science and Soil & Crop Sciences will be hosting a beef cattle field day and pasture school at ARDEC in Fort Collins, Colorado, October 4-5, 2018. It will feature an update and tour of the CSU pivot grazing project, experienced faculty and producers discussing grazing strategies, and a hands-on workshop to improve your grazing management skills.

Registration is $20 for Day 1 (Field Day) or $100 for Day 1 & 2 (Field Day & Pasture School).

Please register by September 28 to reserve your spot. Registration for Day 2 Pasture School is limited to the first 30 participants. To register, go to:

For More Information Contact: Ryan D. Rhoades at or 970-491-2814


Register today! CSU Ag Innovation Summit – September 20-21, 2018

The 2018 CSU AgInnovation Summit will spotlight the vanguard of agricultural research, technology and policy addressing global food safety and biosecurity. The event will bring together diverse perspectives from higher education, industry and government partners to provoke thought and catalyze momentum.

Since its inception in 2015, the CSU AgInnovation Summit has convened diverse perspectives from higher education, industry and government partners to provoke thought and catalyze momentum. The 2018 conversation will explore forces driving and shaping the future of food safety and agricultural biosecurity including innovation in prevention, prediction, mitigation and response. (more…)

Rural Veterinarians Can Now Apply for Debt Relief Through New Colorado Program

The Colorado Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program site is now live, with information on the program, and an online application form. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited Doctor of Veterinary Medicine school in 2017 or later, and currently live in Colorado or, at some point, have lived in Colorado for at least three years.

Drs. Tim Holt and Andrea Lear work with veterinary students treating cattle at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Education and Demonstration Center. (John Eisele/CSU Photo)

The Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program paves the way for veterinarians to work in rural communities where large and small animals — and their owners — need professional services. It was signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on June 5, 2017.

Each year, the program council, appointed by the governor, will select up to four veterinary applicants who qualify for a maximum of $70,000 in loan repayment over a four-year commitment. Detailed information for applicants is available at

“This is great news for not only the veterinarians receiving this award but for Colorado’s livestock industry,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.  “During recent years, there have been fewer livestock veterinarians offering services in Colorado; this program encourages veterinarians to serve in communities in need of their valuable service.”

Aug. 27, 2018 | Opening of the website and application process for veterinarians
Oct. 31, 2018 | Closing of the application process
Nov. 1 – 30, 2018 | Council review, deliberation and selection
Dec. 3, 2018 | Announcement of the successful candidates


Source: Colorado Veterinary Medical Association

BREAKING: Equine Infectious Anemia Confirmed in Colorado

September 7, 2018 – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) received presumptive positive Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test results on Friday, August 24, 2018 from the Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory.  An additional confirmatory test was completed on Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

The horse arrived at a Weld County, Colorado premises from another state on July 18, 2018.  The horse did not have a negative EIA test or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) prior to entering the state of Colorado.  CDA is working to confirm the traceback to the state of origin.

The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office (CDA) has determined, with the help of records from the Brands Division and Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory, that approximately 230-250 horses had been on the premises during the same time as the index positive animal.  Approximately 100 of these horses were sent to 20 other states across the country and those State Veterinarian’s are taking steps to locate, quarantine, and re-test those horses. (more…)

Secure Beef Supply Plan – What Producers Need to Know

Christy J. Hanthorn, DVM, MS and Danelle Bickett-Weddle, DVM, MPH, PhD, DACVPM

Swine producers are closely watching the growing African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. Did you know there is a threat just as devastating that can impact cattle? That threat is foot and mouth disease (FMD).

The USDA values preparedness and funded the Secure Beef Supply (SBS) Plan ( to help producers prepare to protect their cattle from FMD. Colorado Department of Agriculture has been actively involved in the SBS Plan and has resources for feedyards and cow-calf operations:


Agriculture Town Hall with Congressman Ken Buck

Join Congressman Ken Buck and special guest Congressman Mike Conaway, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, for a conversation on agriculture issues.


September 10, 2018 – 10:00-11:00am

Lamar Community Building, Mulit-purpose Room

610 South 6th St., Lamar, CO 81052

RSVP required:


La Junta

September 10, 2018 – 12:30-1:30pm

L Junta City Hall, Municipal Room

601 Colorado Ace., La Junta, CO 81050

RSVP required:

New Dairy Revenue Protection Insurance Plan Available Nationwide

Sign-up Begins October 9

Dairy Margin Protection Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced a new insurance plan for dairy producers that insures against unexpected declines in quarterly milk sales. Sign-up for the new product begins Tuesday, October 9, 2018, with the first available coverage starting the first quarter of 2019. (more…)

2018 High Country Stockmanship and Stewardship Regional Tour

The 2018 High Country Stockmanship and Stewardship Regional Tour will be taking place in Montrose, Colorado at the newly constructed Montrose County Event Center (1001 N. Second St. Montrose, CO 81401) on September 21-22, 2018 and will feature leading beef industry speakers and topics

We are excited to share the following topics with area cattle producers:

  • CSU’s Dr. Temple Grandin will give the keynote address “Animal Welfare in the U.S. Beef Industry”
  • Expert clinicians Curt Pate and Ron Gill will lead a stockmanship and stewardship workshop to demonstrate low-stress cattle handling, including on foot and horseback demos
  • Stock dog expert Juan Reyes will demonstrate the use of stock dogs to move and work cattle in a low-stress manner
  • Several hands-on rotating workshops will be held including safe trailer and ATV use, cattle working facility design, and proper use of animal health products
  • A steak tasting demo that will highlight different characteristics of beef, plus a wine tasting social hour from CSU’s Ram’s Pointe Winery
  • Opportunity to become BQA Certified

If you have any questions please contact Libby Bigler at or (970) 491-2333. To register for the event, visit

South Carolina District Court Issues Injunction of the WOTUS Applicability Date Rule

Earlier today, the Federal District Court in South Carolina granted a motion from environmental groups, entering a nationwide injunction of the WOTUS Applicability Date Rule. As you all remember, earlier this year EPA added a February 6, 2020 applicability date to the 2015 Rule, providing time to repeal and replace the Rule without it going into effect. The South Carolina Court’s injunction is immediate. Due to the injunction, the 2015 WOTUS Rule is now effective law in 26 states. 24 states are protected by other federal court injunctions against the 2015 Rule (one in North Dakota that covers 13 states, and one in Georgia that covers 11 states).

NCBA is a member of the industry coalition litigating WOTUS in the Courts, and we are a party to the case in South Carolina where this injunction was issued. We are currently assessing our legal options to mitigate or overturn this ruling. We expect the government to fight it as well. If we are successful in overturning this decision, the 26 states currently under the 2015 Rule will return to the status quo.

We intend to work closely with our colleagues at EPA to determine how they will interpret this new injunction. Indeed, this administration is working to repeal the rule and replace it with a narrower definition. However, the current landscape is important to consider as your members go forward with any pending or future jurisdictional determinations. Citizen enforcement is possible, but such action likely does more harm to environmental groups than good, because it gives industry a practical example of the 2015 Rule’s jurisdictional overreach.  (more…)

Gov Reappoints CLA Members to Beef Board

Governor Hickenlooper reappoints livestock producers to serve on the Colorado Beef Council Board of Directors

Two Colorado Livestock Association members, Britt Dinis and Nolan Stone, were reappointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the Colorado Beef Council Board of Directors.

CLA Members Appointed by Governor to Colorado Beef Council Board

Britt Dinis, Empire Dairy

Britt Dinis, a dairy farmer from Wiggins, will represent her fellow dairy farmers on the Board until her term expires on July 1, 2022. Britt currently serves on the CLA Board of Directors and is a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee.

CLA Members Appointed by Governor to Colorado Beef Council Board

Nolan Stone, S= Cattle Company

Nolan Stone, a cattle producer from Eaton, will represent the cattle feeding industry until his term expires on July 1, 2022. Nolan is the Immediate Past President of the Colorado Livestock Association and serves on the CLA Board of Directors.

Colorado Livestock Association would like to congratulate Britt and Norm on their reappointment! We are appreciative of their service to the livestock industry. (more…)

Calling all Women in Agriculture!

Commodity groups/organizations in Northern CO have come together to create an opportunity for you! This fall we will be hosting the 2018 Annie’s Project Women’s Retreat in the beautiful town of Estes Park, CO on September 27th-29th. During this conference you will participate in different presentations and discussions that will revolve around business management, record keeping, analyzing business entities, communication skills, estate/succession planning, and so much more!

The Annie’s Project is an organization dedicated to providing educational programs designed to strengthen women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise. The program honors a woman who spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her husband and building a successful farming operation, together. The program was launched in 2003 and currently there are 33 states that are holding classes. Women have always played a role in agriculture, but they haven’t always had a platform to learn more, the Annie’s Project does just that.


EPA Acting Administrator Codifies Animal Waste Report Exemptions

CLA is thrilled to share this announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding CERCLA/EPCRA reporting requirements.

“On July 24, 2018, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a final rule that made changes in regulations to conform to the FARM Act. The final rule also removes the regulatory text of EPA’s 2008 rule that provided an exemption to farms from reporting. The rule responds to the vacatur of the CERCLA/EPCRA reporting exemption from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. (more…)

CSU Finds Feedlot Solar to be Economically Feasible

Colorado State University’s Rural Energy Center has completed 10 initial economic feasibility assessments for solar energy at Colorado feedlots, and the results are promising. Animal feeding operations participating in the ‘Feedlot Assessments for Solar Energy’ (FASE) program would install solar arrays between four and 500 kilowatts to offset their electricity use. For reference, an average home in Colorado would need to install a five kW array to offset its electricity use. (more…)

Wildfire Livestock Health Management

Livestock stakeholders,

As you are aware, wildfires are currently burning across many areas of Colorado. The impacts of these wildfires are wide-reaching and they include impacts to agriculture and livestock. To see a map of the current wildfires in Colorado, please visit:

If you have deceased livestock, please contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian’s Office at 303-869-9130. We will provide guidance on carcass disposal and coordinate with public health. Wildfire injuries in livestock should be addressed by a veterinarian. Please contact our office if you are unable to locate a veterinarian in your area. (more…)

CLA Members Talk Beef at the FOOD & WINE Classic

CLA members, Luke and Kate Larson, joined the team from the ‘Beef. Its What’s For Dinner.’ at their booth at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, CO to talk to consumers about the beef industry.

This was the first time Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. was the protein sponsor of the event held in Aspen. The checkoff also debuted their on-site virtual reality ranching experience at the event. Using this technology, attendees virtually ‘visited’ a farm or ranch where they learned how cattle are raised to produce beef. Luke and Kate, as well as members of the Beef Checkoff were there to answer questions about modern beef production and to tell consumers where their beef comes from. (more…)

Senate Passes Farm Bill – 86 to 11

Thursday afternoon, the Senate passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) by a vote of 86 to 11. The bill can now proceed to a joint conference committee.

Passage of the bill today is another step forward, and holds the possibility of the 2018 Farm Bill’s passage before the current bill expires in September.

CLA applauds the U.S. Senate’s rejection of an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill offered by U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Cory Booker (N.J.) that sought to undermine commodity “checkoff” programs.

Colorado Livestock Association appreciates those senators who supported this critical legislation and were able to pass the bill before the upcoming recess. (more…)

LIVESTOCK HAULER UPDATE: Carrying ELD Exemption Paperwork in Trucks

The ELD delay for ag commodity haulers ended on Monday June 18, 2018. Livestock haulers had to start using ELDs beginning on Tuesday June, 18, 2018.

Livestock haulers have been carrying the document from the Federal Motor Carrier’s Safety Association (FMCSA) that addressed that delay. However, the livestock ELD delay lasts until September 30th, 2018. This livestock specific delay was given to livestock haulers through the omnibus (Congress) and not FMCSA. NCBA requested documentation from FMCSA for the livestock hauling delay, but have not received the documents requested.

The omnibus document states the exemption from ELD’s for livestock haulers until September 30, 2018 at the bottom of page 2. NCBA’s Allison Rivera suggests that livestock producers have their haulers place this document in their cabs for law enforcement officers.

This should be sufficient, however if haulers start running into problems, please contact Allison at (980) 328-5132.


Weather-Related Sales of Livestock & Tax Implications

Image Credit: The Gazette, Bryan Oller

Southern Colorado is experiencing extreme drought conditions. Consequently, farmers and ranchers are being forced to make many related decisions such as whether to sell cows, buy feed, alter production schemes, etc.

It is important that producers understand the production, financial, and tax implications of their decisions. A fact sheet pertaining to the sale of livestock due to weather related conditions has been made available by Colorado State University Extension Specialist, Jeff Tranel.

Download the Weather-Related Sales of Livestock Fact Sheet

Other tax resources are available at the websites below: (more…)

50th Annual Beef Improvement Federation

Colorado Livestock Association was a proud host and patron sponsor of the 50th Annual Beef Improvement Federation’s Annual Meeting and Research Symposium held in Loveland this past week. This event brought together industry professionals, producers and researchers to discuss current issues facing the beef industry.

Many of the issues covered at the annual meeting lead to new research and research projects to benefit the beef industry as a whole, and members look forward to the following BIF Conventions to see the progress of these research projects. To learn more about the Beef Improvement Federation visit their website.

Hickenlooper Appoints Erik Mohrlang to State Brand Board

Erik Mohrlang, was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the Colorado State Board of Stock Inspection to represent the confinement cattle industry for a term expiring May 1, 2022.

Erik is a CLA member and serves as the Dairy Council Chair and is the manager of Feldpausch Holsteins in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

The State Board of Stock Inspection Commission makes rules regarding brand inspection and livestock laws and regulates fees for stock inspections. The commission also sets service charges and procedures, administers the Estray Fund, licenses public livestock markets, and secures bond and surety on butchers and slaughters. (more…)

CLA Applauds Governor’s Signing of Animal Feeding Operation Fee Bill

Senate Bill 18-033 the Environmental Ag Program Fee Bill was signed into law on May 29th, 2018 by Governor Hickenlooper. The bill, sponsored by Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, Representative Jeni Arndt, and Representative Jon Becker, continues the current fee structure for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Environmental Ag Program (EAP). (more…)

CLA Members Represent Livestock Industry at Solid Waste Stakeholder Meeting

On March 26th, Colorado Livestock Association was notified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Hazardous Materials & Waste Management Division’s intent to modify Section 1.2 of the Solid Waste Regulations (6 CCR 1007-2, Part 1) definitions of agricultural waste, composting, and environmental media.

In CLA’s opinion, the proposed definition’s contained language that would have brought forth unintended consequences upon livestock agriculture and could have impacted the agriculture community’s exclusion from the solid waste regulations.

The CLA Natural Resources Committee submitted a letter to the Division expressing its concerns with the proposed language and requesting that the Division host a formal stakeholder meeting.

Upon receiving CLA’s comments the Division scheduled a stakeholder meeting which was held Thursday, May 3. Colorado’s livestock industry was well represented by livestock members, including; Justin Miller, Todd Sigmon, Jon Slutsky, Don Stieb, Pat Waite, Julie McCaleb, Bill Hammerich and Jessica Lemmel.

Also in attendance were regulatory consultants from AGPROfessionals including, Katharine Lotspeich, Patricia Spaine, and Bob Moser and representatives from the Colorado Pork Producers Council and Colorado Farm Bureau.

The revised definitions will be presented to the Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission at the official rulemaking hearing on May 15th, 2018 at CDPHE.

Based on the agreed upon revisions from the stakeholder meeting, CLA plans to testify in support of the Division’s proposal.

CLA would like to thank its members who were engaged in this issue on conference calls and to those who attended the stakeholder meeting. In addition, thank you to AGPROfessionals for providing their regulatory consult and technical support. We believe that this collaborative process was critical to the positive outcome for livestock agriculture.

The CLA Natural Resources Committee members include; Gary Teague, Chair, Britt Dinis, Steve Gabel, Tom Haren, Chris Kraft, Joel Lemons, Julie McCaleb, Justin Miller, Erik Mohrlang, Todd Sigmon, Jon Slutsky, and Ed Wilgenburg.

Ag Financial Crisis Services

The Agricultural Economic Crisis is real.
The resulting stress is real. Let’s TALK about it.

Crisis can take many forms for many different people.

Don’t know where to start? Start Here

“When a farmer and rancher is facing a financial crisis, it can create an emotional toll on every aspect of life. From paying bills, to feeding their children, caring for the livestock and crops, retirement options, and even what they will be able to leave their heirs, the worry and anxiety can be overwhelming. The agricultural community has always come together to help our neighbors in a time of need and that is what this effort is all about: pulling together to help others through this stressful time. I encourage you to reach out to the Colorado Crisis Services if you, or someone you love, is struggling.” -Don Brown, Commissioner of Agriculture (more…)

Safe Farm Award Winners

The Colorado Livestock Association would like to recognize those members and safety group participants, who have an outstanding safety record, with Colorado Livestock Association’s Safe Farm Award.

2017 Safe Farm Award Recipients

Christensen Bros. Inc. – Weldona, CO

Dvorak Feeders – Burlington, CO

McClary Farms – Sedgwick, CO

Shea Feedlot – Delta, CO

The Safe Farm Award recipients were chosen based on several factors. The criteria includes: member of the CLA work comp group for at least two years, an active cost containment certification, two years of a loss ratio less than 25%, average 2 days or less to report claims, meets their designated medical provider requirements. (more…)

2018 CLA Legislator of the Year

Colorado State Representative Jeni Arndt recognized for her commitment to livestock producers in Colorado

The Colorado Livestock Association named State Representative Jeni Arndt as its “Legislator of the Year” its recent Annual Meeting for her leadership and commitment to Colorado’s agriculture and livestock industry.

“Jeni believes that good politics and good legislation begins with good communication, early and often, and to reach out and engage those on both sides of any issue,” stated Bill Hammerich, CEO of Colorado Livestock Association. “She is a collaborator and she keeps her focus on the issue at hand and is not distracted by politics. CLA is honored to recognize her for her leadership and commitment to serve our state.” (more…)

2018 Colorado Livestock Association Top Choice Award Honoree

Colorado State University College of Ag Dean Ajay Menon receives Colorado Livestock Association’s highest honor

Nolan Stone, Colorado Livestock Association Immediate Past President, Dean Ajay Menon, Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences, and Bill Hammerich, Chief Executive Officer, Colorado Livestock Association.

At the 2018 Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) Annual Meeting, Dean Ajay Menon was presented with the Top Choice Award. The Top Choice Award is given by CLA to those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving livestock agriculture in Colorado. Past honorees have come from all walks of life, but the common denominator has been that they have all embodied a deep-rooted belief in the importance of agriculture to the future of this state, this country and the world.

“Although his background, is not one steeped with great knowledge in the field of livestock production he does possess and brings to the position a strong business sense,” stated Bill Hammerich, Chief Executive Officer of CLA, “Dean Menon, is a man of courage and has not shied away from being an agent for change. CLA is honored to recognize him for his contributions to our land grant university and his efforts to make the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University world class.” (more…)

CLA Applauds Senator Bennett’s Co-Sponsorship of the FARM Act in Support of Colorado’s Livestock Industry

This week, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet signed on as a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act that will relieve farmers and ranchers of burdensome reporting requirements under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) – a law originally passed in 1980 to provide for the cleanup of hazardous waste.

In response to an appeal made by the Colorado Livestock Association and other ag organizations in Colorado, Senator Bennet joined 19 other bipartisan Senators in support of this important legislation.

On behalf of Colorado’s livestock producers, the Colorado Livestock Association would like to recognize and thank Senator Bennet for his effort on this important issue and his commitment to Colorado’s livestock agriculture industry. (more…)

Join us for the 2018 CLA Annual Meeting & Colorado’s Finest Celebration!

Alicia Rainwater, The Center for Generational Kinetics

April 4-5, 2018 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland

CLA’s Annual Meeting is one of the largest gatherings of livestock producers and trade show vendors in Colorado. The event kicks off on Wednesday afternoon with species council meetings followed by the evening welcome reception and Colorado’s Finest Celebration, a delicious meal showcasing Colorado’s livestock industry. Join us and spend the evening tasting the best of Colorado agriculture! Thursday morning the CLA Annual Membership Meeting will be held to elect leadership and conduct Association business.

The highlight of this year’s event will be the presentation by Alicia Rainwater from The Center for Generational Kinetics. The Center for Generational Kinetics solves tough generational challenges with Gen Z, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. Alicia will deliver a rare combination of research-based insight, unforgettable entertainment, and specific, practical solutions that you can use immediately to drive results. (more…)

Join us at the 10th Annual Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium

Cattle Market Update, Weather Forecast, GrassCast, Tools for Farm Transition and more!

The Colorado Livestock Association is hosting its annual livestock producer educational symposium in Hugo, CO on February 20, 2018. The Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium will feature a full day of informative speakers covering a multitude of important topics of interest to livestock producers in Colorado. In 2008, the meeting was renamed the Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium in honor of the late Eastern, Colorado rancher, Marshall Frasier, who was a strong proponent of education and a dedicated supporter of the industry. Marshall Frasier was and still is the only person who has served as President of both the state livestock organizations; Colorado Livestock Association and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

The 10th Annual Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium will kick-off at 8:30am with a discussion on how to prepare for transitioning the family farm or ranch with Brent Bright, CPA, K-COE ISOM. Justin Derner a rangeland scientist for the USDA will present on Grass Cast a computer simulation model that producers and land managers can use to predict the forage-production potential of a given pasture before moving a herd onto it to graze. Brian Bledsoe Chief Meteorologist at KKTV 11 News, will share a weather forecast for producers. Derek Vote with Fed Beef Grading Operations & Beef Technical Services will discuss grading changes and attendees will hear a market update from Dr. Stephen Koontz, Colorado State University Department of Ag and Resource Economics.

Lunch is free to attendees and will be provided by the Colorado State University Meats Judging Team. Registration is complimentary, but please register by Friday, February 16, 2018. Register online at or call the CLA office at (970) 378-0500.

Livestock Producers Get Paid for Excellent Safety Performance

Colorado Livestock Association Safety Group members returned $1.67 million in performance dividends

Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) members lead the livestock industry in their commitment to creating a safe workplace for their employees. Since the group’s inception in 2001, the CLA Safety Group Program has helped group members receive $1,672,898.00 in Safety Group Dividends from Pinnacol Assurance. These premium dollars are returned to safety group members in the form of a dividend that is based on their excellent safety record. (more…)

CLA’s 2017 Legislator of the Year Award Presented in Sterling

Colorado State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg recognized for his commitment to livestock producers in Colorado

Julie McCaleb, CLA Legislative Affairs Committee Chair and Steve Holdren, CLA Lobbyist present the 2017 Legislator of the Year award to Senator Jerry Sonnenberg.

The Colorado Livestock Association named State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg as their “Legislator of the Year” this week for his work and commitment to Colorado’s agriculture and livestock industry.

“Senator Jerry Sonnenberg is a real-life farmer and rancher who has a deep-rooted understanding of and passion for agriculture in Colorado. This is most evident in his actions as he represents not just his constituents in Senate District One, but all of Colorado agriculture in carrying out his duties in the Colorado Senate,” stated Bill Hammerich, CEO of Colorado Livestock Association. “Because of his commitment to and support of agriculture in the legislative arena the Colorado Livestock Association is proud to recognize Senator Jerry Sonnenberg as the CLA 2017 Legislator of the Year.” (more…)

3rd Annual CLA Northeast Livestock Symposium

Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) is hosting its annual producer educational symposium in Sterling, CO on November 14, 2017. The Northeast Livestock Symposium will feature a full day of informative speakers covering a multitude of important topics affecting the livestock industry.

The symposium will kick off at 8:30 with a discussion about current water issues by Jim Yahn, North Sterling and Prewitt Reservoirs manager. Following, Jim Robb, Chief Executive Officer of the Livestock Marketing and Information Center (LMIC) will provide a market outlook. The LMIC has provided economic analysis and market projections concerning the livestock industry, since 1955.


Colorado Hog Producers Recognized As 2017 Gold Award Winners

Colorado Livestock Association members, Mountain Prairie Farms (Las Animas) and Smithfield Hog Production (Yuma), were recognized as Gold Leaders along with 165 companies for their outstanding environmental achievements that help keep Colorado a desirable place to work and live. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in partnership with the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and the Colorado Environmental Partnership, presented the 18th annual Environmental Leadership Awards at the Infinity Event Center in Glendale in October. The awards recognize Colorado organizations with gold, silver and bronze designations for voluntarily going beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and for their commitment to continual environmental improvement. This year’s program recognized 21 new Gold Leaders, which join 90 other companies and organizations already designated as Gold Leaders. There currently are 37 companies designated as Silver Partners and 21 companies designated as Bronze Achievers.

Mountain Prairie Farms, LLC employees received the Gold Level Environmental Leadership Award. (From the Left) Robert Lovato-Farm Manager, Cristian Lopez- Farm Manager, John Lofdahl- Production Manager, Rick Ochoa- Maintenance Manager, Marguerite Tan- Environmental Engineer
Lynette Myers, CDPHE Environmental Leadership Program, Kep Proctor- Support Services Manager, Justin Gallegos- Head of Department and Tracy Osborn- H.R. Manager

Julie McCaleb (Left) and Andrea Anderson (Right) accept the Gold Leader award on behalf of Smithfield Hog Production presented by CDPHE Environmental Leadership Program manager Lynette Myers (Middle).

“We are proud to recognize all of Colorado’s environmental leaders and work with them to reduce barriers to innovation while protecting public health and the environment,” said department Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk.


2017 National Farm Safety & Health Week – Safety is an Investment

Have you ever thought about how much a workplace injury could cost your farm or ranch?
The annual cost of occupational injuries in agriculture is $8.3 billion in medical costs and lost productivity.

OSHA’s $afety Pays tool is an online calculator to estimate direct and indirect costs of injuries to your business.

For more information on safety awareness and resources click here.

#NFSHW #SafetyinAg #FarmSafety

Colorado’s Livestock Producers Are Committed to Safety

Since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that on average 240 agriculture workers suffer a “serious lost-work-time injury” each day. The rate of fatalities in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector continues to decline, but still remains the highest of any industry sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 100 children die each year in an agriculture-related incident. Of the leading sources of fatalities among all youth, 25% involved machinery, 17% involved motor vehicles (includes ATVs), and 16% were drownings. The skills and life lessons children learn while growing up on the family farm are priceless, but it is up to all of us to protect them and keep them safe.


2017 National Farm Safety & Health Week – Livestock Injuries

We don’t need to tell you that livestock are powerful and unpredictable, but have you reminded your employees lately?

Annually, CLA members and their employees sustain more injuries caused by livestock than any other injury in the workplace.

For more information on safety awareness and resources click here (more…)

2017 National Farm Safety & Health Week – Youth in Agriculture

Every three days, a child dies in an agriculture-related incident. Of the leading sources of fatalities among all youth, 25% involved machinery, 17% involved motor vehicles (includes ATVs), and 16% were drownings. For working youth, tractors were the leading source of fatalities followed by ATVs.

The skills and life lessons children learn while growing up on the family farm are priceless, but it is up to all of us to protect them and keep them safe.

#NFSHW #SafetyinAg #FarmSafety

For more information on safety awareness and resources click here (more…)

2017 National Farm Safety & Health Week – ATV Safety

ATV injuries and fatalities on farms and ranches are widespread and increasing. NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health identified 2,090 ATV injuries and 321 ATV fatalities between 2003 and 2011, with three out of five of the occupational deaths occurring in agriculture.

#NFSHW #SafetyinAg #FarmSafety

For more information on ATV safety resources from High Plains Intermountain Center for Agriculture Health and Safety click here (more…)

2017 National Farm Safety & Health Week – Rural Road Safety

This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week!

Please remember that cell phones and rural roadways do not mix. Be careful around agriculture equipment on the roads at this busy time of year! Fall harvest and texting do not mix. Avoid texting whether you are operating farm equipment or driving your personal vehicle.

#NFSHW #SafetyinAg #FarmSafety #CASN

For more information on safety awareness and resources click here. (more…)

Announcing… CLA’s VISION Magazine and Membership Directory!

The 2017-2018 Colorado Livestock Association VISION magazine and membership directory is hot off the press and on its way to mailboxes across Colorado! This year’s edition features guest articles from Don Brown, Commissioner of Agriculture, Donna Moenning, Center for Food Integrity, Jackie Klippenstein, Dairy Farmers of America, Michael Formica, National Pork Producers Council and many, many more!

Read the digital edition online now!


Thank you to all of our advertisers and sponsors for their support of our annual publication. (more…)

Bill Hammerich-2017 Livestock Leader Award Honoree

Bill Hammerich, Chief Executive Officer

Join the Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences for the Livestock Leader Reception to celebrate the 2017 Livestock Leader, William Hammerich. The reception will be held on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Colorado State University Animal Sciences Building in Fort Collins, CO.

About Bill
Bill Hammerich has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) since 2002. He grew up on a cattle and farming operation in Western Colorado and after graduating from high school he attended Colorado State University where he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics.  Following graduation, he began his working career with Monfort of Colorado, then Farr Feeders and was with the Sparks Companies before joining CLA. (more…)

Livestock Producers Gather for Colorado Livestock Association Annual Meeting

Greeley, CO – Over 250 producers, industry partners, students, government and agency representatives met at the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) Annual Meeting & Colorado’s Finest Celebration on April 5-6, 2017 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland. CLA’s Annual Meeting is one of the largest gatherings of livestock producers and trade show vendors in Colorado.

CLA Species Councils met to conduct business and discuss issues specific to their industries on Wednesday afternoon. In the evening, members mingled at the Welcome Reception and dined on exceptional cuts of beef, lamb and pork at the Colorado’s Finest Celebration, an annual event held in honor of Colorado’s livestock producers sponsored by Pinnacol Assurance.  (more…)

Commissioner of Ag Don Brown Selected as CLA Top Choice Award Honoree

Don Brown The Top Choice Award is given by the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) to those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to livestock agriculture in Colorado. Past honorees have come from all walks of life, but the common denominator has been that they have all embodied a deep rooted belief in the importance of agriculture to the future of this state, this country and the world. CLA honored Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown with the Top Choice Award at the 2017 CLA Annual Meeting.  “Commissioner Brown wears agriculture on his sleeve and is a great spokesperson, who tells the story of agriculture on behalf of farmers and ranchers in Colorado,” said Bill Hammerich, CEO of CLA. “He modestly introduces himself as ‘a farmer and rancher who happens to be the Commissioner of Agriculture’ and CLA is honored to recognize him for his contributions to our state.”  (more…)

CLA Annual Meeting & Colorado’s Finest Celebration

012A0003Colorado Livestock Association invites you to attend the 2017 CLA Annual Meeting and Colorado’s Finest Celebration to be held at the Embassy Suites, Loveland, CO on April 5-6, 2017. CLA’s Annual Meeting is one of the largest gatherings of livestock producers and trade show vendors in Colorado. The event kicks off on Wednesday evening at the Welcome Reception, followed by Colorado’s Finest Celebration, to showcase Colorado’s livestock industry. Spend the evening tasting the best of Colorado agriculture!  (more…)

Our Survival Depends on Trust; We Must Earn It

vance-crowe headshot

Vance Crowe, Monsanto

While in the United States Peace Corps a stranger came to my small village in Kenya and stood on a box to gather my fellow villagers around him.  He delivered a powerful and convincing story so that he could sell vials of water that he claimed would protect the people from the malaria that was ravaging the community.
For years that experience haunted me.  I longed for the chance to go back to that moment and knock the man off the box he stood on, or at least step between him and the people with my hands raised in warning.  To ease the pain of failing to help that vulnerable community, I imagined myself begging them not to listen to this man who was only there to sew a story laden in false hope to sell on their deepest fears: the health of their families.  The science was clear; if they had only trusted my lessons and not his story, they could have real protection from malaria.  (more…)

Join us at the 9th Annual Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium!


CattleFax: Navigating the Cattle Cycle, Protecting America’s Agriculture at DIA, Managing Your Cattle & Your People

The Colorado Livestock Association is hosting its annual livestock producer educational symposium in Hugo, CO on February 21, 2017. The Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium will feature a full day of informative speakers covering a multitude of important topics of interest to livestock producers in Colorado. In 2008, the meeting was renamed the Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium in honor of the late Eastern, Colorado rancher, Marshall Frasier, who was a strong proponent of education and a dedicated supporter of the industry. Marshall Frasier was and still is the only person who has served as President of both the state livestock organizations; Colorado Livestock Association and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. (more…)

The Global Impact of Colorado Agriculture

Ajay Menon, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences, Colorado State University

When looking at the grand global challenges facing agriculture, the need to ensure that our food supply is safe, affordable, and sustainable comes to the forefront almost immediately. In the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University, we have research programs that focus on the continued viability and profitability of Colorado’s diverse agricultural industry, of which livestock and the Colorado Livestock Association figure prominently. We know that agriculture is a significant economic driver in our state, contributing $41 billion to the Colorado economy and employing nearly 173,000 people, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. (more…)

Winners Meet High Bar for Workplace Safety and Risk Management

Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s leading workers’ compensation insurer, is honoring 55 policyholders with its Circle of Safety Award for their exemplary performance in safety, loss control, and financial and claims management.

“This year’s Circle of Safety winners are setting the standard in protecting their employees on the job, no matter what kind of hazards they face,” said Phil Kalin, Pinnacol’s president and CEO. “They’re an example of how to do it right, which keeps their employees safe and their businesses strong.”  (more…)

Fugitive Nitrogen

Dr. Jay Ham, PhD, Colorado State University

JaySamplingPerhaps nowhere is ammonia from livestock under greater scrutiny than along the Front Range of Colorado. Increased levels of atmospheric nitrogen deposition are having a negative impact on the ecology of Rocky Mountain National Park, a crown jewel of the National Park System. While studies suggest many different sources are contributing to nitrogen deposition in the park (e.g., urban, out of state sources), much attention has been directed to the beef feedlots and dairies that populate the plains just east of the mountains.
Once ammonia enters the atmosphere it can convert to an aerosol and travel long distances from the source. Most of this fugitive nitrogen is eventually deposited back to the ground when scavenged from the air by precipitation. Unfortunately, this unintentional nitrogen transport and fertilization is having a negative ecological impact on pristine ecosystems around the globe. Thus, it is not surprising that livestock ammonia is an area of growing public concern and regulatory debate. (more…)

2nd Annual CLA Northeast Livestock Symposium

CattleFax Market Outlook, Antibiotic Use, & Drones vs. Privacy


The Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) is hosting its annual producer educational symposium in Sterling, CO on November 15, 2016. The Northeast Livestock Symposium will feature a full day of informative speakers covering a multitude of important topics affecting the livestock industry. (more…)

Partners in Safety – CLA Safety Group

Pinnacol Assurance partners with the CLA Safety Group to provide big savings while protecting workers through safety group program.

Joe Newhouse, Pinnacol Assurance

“Never leave money on the table.” We’ve all heard this good advice, yet most of us fail to follow it at one time or another.
My hope is that you’ll consider joining nearly 100 other feedlot, dairy, swine, sheep, and cow and calf producers that participate in the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) safety group program through Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s premier workers’ compensation insurer. By participating in the group, you’ll leave no money on the table. (more…)

CLA Position on Amendments 69 and 71


The Colorado Livestock Association Board of Directors has taken a position on the following proposed initiatives: (more…)

A Citizen’s Duty and Privilege

Steve Holdren, Capitol Strategies, LLC

IMG_5907-Edit-EditEvery four years people say, “ This could be the most important election of our time,” and honestly, this might be the year they’re right! The 2016 election is extremely important for our country and our state.
The balance of power lies in waiting on it’s results, our nation will elect a new President, the majority in the U.S. Senate could change parties, influencing important decisions, including appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, rights granted to the citizens by the constitution, environmental and regulatory change and the list goes on.
The balance of power in the Colorado Legislature may change too, although Colorado has traditionally been a checks and balances state, the majority margin in the senate is so narrow, the final vote count will ultimately decide, resulting in what could be Democratically controlled Legislative and Executive branches of state government.
The ballot again will be overrun by proposed amendments to the state’s constitution and statutes, although Colorado voters have an opportunity to create change in the initiative process, making it harder, yet more fair and equitable, to get amendments on future ballots. (more…)

Where Will You Be 11.8.2016?

Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Colin-WoodallNovember 8th is Election Day here in the United States, and by now I’m sure you are sick of the constant political ads.  You will hear many people say that this is the most important election we’ve ever seen.  I argue that each election is important, but our American electorate easily forgets the past and tends to focus only on the present.  Regardless, you need to plan on being in a voting booth on November 8th.  If, for some reason, you know that you will be busy that day, most jurisdictions have absentee or early voting.  Make sure your vote is cast because much is at stake. (more…)

Focusing on the Future

Mike Veeman, President-Elect, Veeman & Sons Dairy

The Colorado Livestock Association has a rich and deep history that needs to continue to be shared with future generations of agriculture producers. It is critical to the future of the industry to continue the generational transfer of stories about where we came from and how we got here so that our children and our children’s children can develop an understanding of the work that CLA has done on behalf of livestock producers. As an Association we have worn many hats over the years and have fought many battles. Without this diverse coalition of livestock producers our industry would not be where it is today and would not have the bright future that I believe we have.  (more…)

A Focus on Quality

Beef and dairy industries unify voice through quality assurance collaboration.

Libby Bigler, Colorado Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator

There is no doubt that cattle are a uniquely productive species; one that can produce an astounding 27,000 pounds of milk annually, as well as turn otherwise unproductive ground into high quality protein products. It’s these unique abilities that created an alignment between the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program and the National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program.
As part of this collaboration, in January of 2016, the National BQA Advisory committee approved an expansion to the current Dairy BQA program, integrating FARM’s upcoming 3.0 version into its Dairy BQA certification guidelines. Beginning January 2017, any dairy producer that is evaluated using FARM 3.0 will also receive a BQA certification.
Emily Meredith, Chief of Staff and former Vice President of Animal Care for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), said that because dairy cows eventually become beef, it is crucial for the beef and dairy industries to find ways to work together.
“There are many synergies between BQA and the FARM program,” Meredith said in recent edition of the online publication Beef Issues Quarterly. “Our collaboration has centered on identifying our similarities and working to maximize those… to ensure the highest quality beef supply possible.”
Merging Animal Care Programs
Co BQAThe National Dairy FARM program goes through an update process every three years. Although the program’s focus remains distinctly on animal care principles that are key to dairy production, the revision committee, which consists of NMPF’s Board of Directors along with a public comment period, recognized the importance of the dairy industry to the beef supply.
“Dairy animals have a dual purpose,” said Chase DeCoite, Associate Director of BQA. “After spending their lives producing milk, dairy animals work their way into the beef supply chain, and consequently, dairy producers participate in the beef checkoff. The checkoff-funded BQA program has long felt it was important to offer dairy producers the same resources and information as it does to beef producers.”
Through collaboration with National BQA, steps were then taken to include additional resources and references in the dairy beef section of the new edition of the FARM 3.0 program’s Animal Care Manual. Changes will include guidelines surrounding fitness for transport, treatment of special needs cattle and proper administration of injectable health products. A stockmanship training component will also be required. It’s these particular updates that made the case for the National BQA Advisory Committee to approve FARM 3.0 as an equivalent to BQA certification.
Collaboration to Target Crossover Issues
The collaboration between NMPF’s FARM program and the National BQA program is a step in the right direction for animal agriculture. Both the dairy and beef industries have been challenged to address similar consumer concerns. With this new unification, both industries will be better equipped to answer the tough questions.
“The beef industry faces many of the same pressures as dairy,” DeCoite said. “Specifically, we see a lot of questions from consumers and retail partners about antibiotic use and animal welfare….BQA and FARM are answering these questions and concerns.”
In January 2017, consumers will be able to hear a more cohesive voice from both the dairy and beef sides of the cattle business through this new collaboration. For dairy producers, the process to earn a BQA certification is simple. Farms that are evaluated under FARM 3.0 will automatically qualify as BQA Certified operations. Once a FARM evaluation is completed, the evaluation status will be reported to Colorado BQA, who will process the dairy’s BQA certificate and send it to the farm to keep on file. No additional steps are required.The new process will be a convenient way to assure the quality of the beef produced on U.S. dairy farms, while concurrently assuring animal health and wellbeing.
“BQA has long been committed to providing producers with the tools, resources and materials to improve their operations,” DeCoite said.  “We see this partnership as the next step in that commitment… to provide high-quality, wholesome, delicious milk – and meat!”

Colorado Monitoring Framework – Agricultural Task Force


On the Horizon


President Nolan Stone shares his thoughts about the future of the livestock industry and of the Association.

Nolan Stone, President of the Colorado Livestock Association, is a fifth generation Colorado cattlemen who was raised near Karval, 17 miles southeast of Punkin Center. For the past 17 years, Nolan has worked for JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC and is the General Manager of the Kuner Feedyard near Kersey. When he isn’t working, family time for Nolan and his wife, Jodi, means watching their two kids Shae and Dylan play softball and baseball, watching Shae show steers and spending time managing their family’s cattle business; a diversified spring and fall calving cow herd and stocker operation on leased ranches throughout Colorado.

What is your favorite part of the cattle business?
My favorite part of the cattle business is the people.  For the most part, the industry is made up of people with a high degree of integrity and pride.  Folks are passionate about this industry, and at our foundation, we are all stockmen, which allows us to interact daily with a group that have this common thread. (more…)

A Farmer at Heart

Air scientist, Dr. William “Brock” Faulkner, was a tireless advocate for livestock producers in Colorado & across the nation.

Bill Hammerich, Colorado Livestock Association

RS48444_ag-6 (1)It was June, 2006, and I was driving home from the Omni in Broomfield, following the conclusion of a Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) Annual Convention, and thinking about how CLA could become more engaged in addressing the issue of ammonia deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park (Park). We had met with folks at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and it was their belief based on modeling at the time, that agriculture, both crop and livestock were major contributors to the “problem” in the Park. After the initial meeting with CDPHE and a handful of stakeholder meetings it became apparent that the agricultural community was going to need some help in understanding the scientific aspects of ammonia and other nitrogen compounds. There was never a question that agriculture was a contributor, the question was and still is; how much does agriculture contribute and more specifically how much does agriculture in Colorado contribute? (more…)

Rooted with a Passion

Drew Carlson, Colorado State University Student and CLA Intern

IMG_6038-Edit-EditAs my Senior year at Colorado State University and the reality of real world living quickly approaches, I can’t help but look back and count the blessings in my life thus far. I was born and raised on a small farm and ranch south of Sterling, Colorado, and have been particularly dedicated to my agricultural way-of-life. Through my experiences and the commendable lifestyle of being involved in agriculture, I have found a simple love for the livestock industry. Being  part of the agriculture industry has taught me first and foremost the value of hard work. The friendships I have built, the connections I have made, and the opportunities I have been given to network with other producers in this industry have blessed me abundantly and I have successfully constructed a hobby into a passion. (more…)

A Few Words from CLA President Nolan Stone

Nolan Stone, President

Nolan Stone, President

July 15, 2016 – At the 2016 Colorado Livestock Association Annual Meeting in April, CLA members elected Nolan Stone to fill the role as President.  Nolan, is a fifth generation Colorado cattlemen who was raised near Karval, 17 miles southeast of Punkin Center. For the past 17 years, Nolan has worked for JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC and is the General Manager of the Kuner Feedyard near Kersey.

“As society evolves, it is becoming more important to have a unified voice representing our message to the public and in the government arenas. CLA does a great job of opening doors and allowing its members to deliver their message wherever it might matter the most,” President Stone stated. “As a group of diversified protein producers, we might not always agree on the detail of every message, but we all understand that a message coming from our broad membership packs a harder punch than each of us can individually. I hope to continue to grow membership and seek more opinions and ideas from the producers of Colorado.” (more…)

New Website Provides Producers with Livestock Transport Requirements

Have you heard about

InterstateLivestock_2016The NIAA and USAHA have partnered together to create a website,,  which provides current rules and regulations for anyone shipping cattle across state lines.

The one-stop resource for finding requirements to move animals across state lines!  The site is in its first phase featuring cattle movement regulations for all 50 states, and designed to provide quick results. (more…)

Colorado Livestock Association Cattleman Attends Elite Cattle Industry Conference

Representing the Colorado Livestock Association, Trent Horton participated in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2016 Young Cattlemen’s Conference (NCBA’s YCC). Over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry attended the conference. Trent was selected by his fellow producers to participate in the 2016 class.

Horton - COTrent Horton is a graduate of the University of Wyoming, where he obtained a degree in Business Administration. He grew up in and around the Wellington, Colorado area where he worked for the family feedlot business from grade school throughout high school. Outside of the family business while in College he held jobs such as landscaping and framing homes.

Since graduating from the University of Wyoming he has had the opportunity to do all of the tasks involved within the feedlot business. He has earned his way to now being an owner, partner and General Manager of Horton Feedlots and Diamond Feeders. (more…)

CLA Gives Honorary Membership to Dr. John Matsushima

Colorado State University Animal Sciences Professor John Matsushima visits the JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding lot, October 16, 2012.

Colorado State University Animal Sciences Professor John Matsushima visits the JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding lot, October 16, 2012.

Colorado Livestock Association gave Dr. John “Johnny” Matsushima, PhD an Honorary Membership. Dr. Matsushima has been a member of the Colorado Livestock Association and Colorado Cattle Feeders Association for 61 years. During his career, Dr. Matsushima has contributed greatly to improving the livestock feeding industry in Colorado and internationally as the pioneer of the corn steam flaking process for use in cattle rations. (more…)

2016 Top Choice Honoree


William Brock Faulkner, PhD, 2016 CLA Top Choice Award Honoree (Photo from Texas A&M University)

Colorado Livestock Association honored the late Dr. William Brock Faulkner, PhD, with the Top Choice Award, CLA’s most prestigious honor at the 2016 CLA Annual Meeting April 13-14.
Dr. Faulkner was a passionate and tireless advocate for the livestock industry in Colorado and across the country. Over the last 9 years Brock worked closely with livestock producers in Colorado on air quality issues related to Rocky Mountain National Park. His career in teaching culminated in serving as Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University; he advised the Secretary of Agriculture on the USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. (more…)

2016 Safe Farm Award Winners

The Colorado Livestock Association would like to recognize those members and worker’s compensation group participants, who have an outstanding safety record, with Colorado Livestock Association’s 2015 Safe Farm Award.


2016 Safe Farm Award Winners and CLA brokers. Pictured Left: Rick Jenkins, Flood and Peterson; Steve & Becky Shea, Shea Feedlot; Gary and Lynette Penny, Penny Ranch; Corey Torres, HUB International; Naida Bamford, Bamford Feedyard; Brian Schiller, Flood and Peterson; Eric Slinger, HUB International. 


2016 CLA Annual Meeting- A Great Success!

Over 275 producers, industry partners, students, and agency and government representatives met at the CLA Annual Meeting & Colorado’s Finest Celebration April 13-14, 2016 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO.  (more…)

Antibiotics: What Lies Ahead?

Antibiotic resistance expert, Dr. Mike Apley, gives an outlook on what lies ahead for the livestock industry.

Dr. Michael Apley, PhD, Kansas State University


Source: Animal Agriculture Alliance

Regardless of how much science is behind the intense scrutiny of antibiotics in agriculture, it is clear that we can expect changes in the future. By now, everyone should be well aware that the use of medically important antibiotics in feed (e.g., tylosin, chlortetracycline) will require veterinary authorization in the form of a veterinary feed directive as of January 1, 2017. You should be in the planning phases with your veterinarian as to having those VFDs in hand and ready by this date. The new labels will be rolled out in sequence in December of 2016, and then the VFDs can be written. This authorization will also be necessary for medically important antibiotics in mineral and milk replacer. Feed drugs which are not medically important, such as decoquinate (Deccox®), amprolium (Corid®), and monensin (Rumensin®) will only need to be on a VFD if fed at the same time as a medically important antibiotic, otherwise no VFD will be required for them. Producers, veterinarians, and feed distributors will need to work together as we move forward.  (more…)

Agriculture in Perspective

Kellee Mitchell, Colorado Livestock Association

When the first federal census was taken in 1790, more than 90 percent of all Americans were farmers and agriculture was far and away the leading industry and major employer. Revolutionary changes in the 1800s transformed the lives of the nation’s farm families, as the industrial revolution shifted population, wealth, and power to the cities. In the 1850s young men went west in search of their fortunes on the agricultural frontier, but national attention and the American dream increasingly still shifted to the city. (more…)

Our History is Our Future

Jessica Lemmel, Colorado Livestock Association

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.
In high school, I worked in the summertime for an older couple who would often fondly reflect on the way things used to be. I politely listened to their stories, but I would become anxious wanting to get back to my daily tasks, and would soon forget the lesson they were trying to impart.
This experience is not unique to me. Most young people don’t pay enough attention to the stories of their elders because we just don’t recognize yet how important those moments are to our own futures. The millennial generation, of which I am a member, is characterized as those who prioritize efficiency and technological progression above almost everything else. Our parent’s however, would just describe us as naive. (more…)

The Cornerstone

Commissioner Don Brown believes farmers and ranchers are the cornerstone of our great state and country.

InfographicAs the Commissioner of Agriculture, I have dedicated my life to my family, my ranch, and my community. I can tell you that I truly believe our farmers and ranchers are the cornerstone of our great state and country. Without them, we would not enjoy the abundant food we have available to us, one of the lowest food costs in the world, and national food security because of our ability to provide enough food to feed our people.
As farmers and ranchers, we are more than the people on a tractor or feeding livestock. We are business men and women, who must balance the checkbook, manage workers, study state and federal regulations, and provide quality care to livestock so they remain healthy and productive. We are entrepreneurs who must continually develop new technology to create more food with fewer resources. All of this is done while the weight of feeding our family and those around the globe sits upon our shoulders.
Here is another fact that you might find surprising: 10% of the farmers produce 80% of the food. This means we must continue to develop new methods in order to meet the growing demand for food worldwide at a time when land used for agricultural purposes continues to decrease. There are many niche markets that allow consumers to make food choices that fit their family lifestyle and provide marketing opportunities for producers based on their production practice. While these labels may add value to some, these sectors alone won’t feed the nation. We must continue to develop new technology, growing practices, and livestock care efforts that further develop our production capabilities. If we are to feed the world, we must learn to do this with less land, fewer producers, and fewer resources. (more…)

Mountain Prairie Farms recognized as a Silver Partner in the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program

The Environmental Leadership Program, administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environmental, is a voluntary program that recognizes organizations that go beyond compliance with environmental regulations and strive toward a goal of sustainability. Members work through three levels of partnership: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Including the new crop of 12 Gold Leaders, seven Silver Partners and 29 Bronze achievers, program membership stands at 160 organizations, representing a variety of sectors from manufacturers to agriculture to schools and service providers. New and existing members were recognized at the programs annual awards event October 16 at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. (more…)

Colorado FFA Foundation Announces 2016 Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees

The Colorado FFA Foundation announced today four inductees into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame. Mr. Thomas Bradbury of Byers, Mr. Steve Gabel, of Eaton, Mr. Harold Griffith of Fort Morgan, and Mr. Milan Rewerts, of Fort Collins, will all be formally inducted into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame in February at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet.

“We are proud to add four more outstanding individuals to the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame“ said Mark Reinert, Chairman of the Colorado FFA Foundation. (more…)

2015 Circle of Safety Award: 7th Year in a Row!

circle_of_safety_award_2011_12-300x194Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s leading workers’ compensation insurer, is recognizing the recipients of the company’s eighth annual Circle of Safety Awards this month including the Colorado Livestock Association. Approximately 40 policyholders from across the state are being honored for their exemplary performance in safety, loss control, and financial and claims management. (more…)

Young Cattlemen’s Conference Recognizes Leaders in the Cattle Industry

Andrew Mertens

Greeley, CO- Over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry participated in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2015 Young Cattlemen’s Conference including a young producer from northern Colorado. Representing Colorado Livestock Association was Andrew Mertens from Wickstrom Feedyard.

Andrew Mertens of New Raymer, CO has been involved in the agriculture industry all of his life. He grew up on his family’s progressive dryland farm and stocker cattle operation in northeastern Colorado. The operation consists of raising dryland wheat, corn, and proso millet. In addition to crop production the operation buys light weight calves in the fall, backgrounds them during the winter, turns them out on grass in the late spring and summer, and then markets these cattle as yearlings in the fall. After graduating from high school Andrew, along with his brother Cole, began growing their own farming and stocker cattle operation in addition to the family’s operation. (more…)

Colorado Livestock Association Bestows its Highest Honor

4Official Tony Frank mug(1)Greeley, CO- The Top Choice Award is given periodically by the Colorado Livestock Association to those individuals who have demonstrated through their words and their actions a commitment to the betterment of livestock agriculture here in Colorado. Past honorees have come from all walks of life, but the common denominator has been that they have all embodied a deep rooted belief in the importance of agriculture to the future of this state, this country and the world. This year’s recipient shares that same quality, but is also a person of courage and determination who is not afraid to make the tough decisions. (more…)

Flying Diamond Ranch Presented with Leopold Conservation Award

1609836_589413847827667_370880262105651958_nThe Flying Diamond Ranch, owned and managed by the Scott and Jean Johnson family, is the recipient of the 2015 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award. Scott Johnson, past President of CLA, along with his family manage the ranch which is located near Kit Carson, Flying Diamond Ranch is a fifth generation, 25,000-acre cattle ranch. For over 100 years, the Johnsons’ management philosophy has reflected a personal conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land. (more…)

Temple Grandin Visits Colorado Dairy Farms

Dr. Temple Grandin, renowned animal handling expert, author and Colorado State University professor, traveled to three Colorado dairy farms. In attendance were CLA President Mary Kraft and CLA members Rick Podtburg and Bill Wailes, as well as representatives from Western Dairy Association and Dairy Farmers of America, Colorado Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Protection and CLA staff. The tour was hosted by Western Dairy Association. (more…)

2015 NCBA Legislative Conference

Colorado’s livestock industry was well represented at the 2015 NCBA Legislative Conference this week in Washington, D.C. CLA President, Mary Kraft, Mike Thoren, JBS Fiver Rivers Cattle Feeding, and Bill Hammerich, CEO, along with representatives from Colorado Cattlemen’s Association met with Senator Cory Gardner and Senator Michael Bennet. The main focus of discussion included; the complete repeal of COOL, inadequacies of the proposed Dietary Guidelines, and immigration reform. In addition, they met with representatives from all of Colorado’s Congressional districts. “The ‪#‎NCBA‬ Legislative Conference gave CLA and myself, the opportunity to personally meet and share our needs and issues with our nation’s leaders. Developing these relationships and maintaining communication gives us influence in the rules that govern our businesses, our communities and our lives. It is an important step in creating strategic alliances, protecting what we have, and furthering our industry,” Mary Kraft, CLA President