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Commodity Communicator Weekly

January 18, 2013

ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU WINTER COMMODITY DIVISION MEETINGS . . . The annual Farm Bureau Winter Commodity Division meetings are set for Wednesday, January 30 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock. Schedule of Activities is as follows:

8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Registration

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Cotton, Beef, Cattle, Soybean, Specialty Crops, Swine, Forestry

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Dairy, Rice, Wheat & Feed Grains, Poultry, Equine, Aquaculture


TOM VILSACK TO CONTINUE AS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
. . . . . On Monday, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack publicly stated that he accepted President Obama’s invitation to continue his service as Secretary of Agriculture. This move puts to rest speculation that President Obama would soon be searching for a potential replacement.
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MICROLOAN PROGRAM. . . . .Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000. The new microloan program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations.
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NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LAW CENTER PROVIDING PRODUCER MEETINGS
. . . . .The National Agricultural Law Center is providing a series of producer meetings *at no cost* to discuss agricultural law issues, with a focus on farm bill developments and federal crop insurance. The meetings will also address aspects of the recent “fiscal cliff” legislation such as the estate tax, agricultural leases, and updates in environmental regulation.  
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IRRIGATION AND POULTRY UPGRADES AGAIN ELIGIBLE FOR 25% COST SHARE. . . . .States have already announced REAP deadlines for 2013.  Nationally, around $22 million is available for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.  There will likely be enough money in Arkansas to fund 10 – 15 projects.  Producers unfamiliar with the program can contact Matt King (501-228-1297) for more information.  Producers interested in applying are encouraged to contact Mr. Bruce Everly of Energy Improvement Matters (317-228-0134).  Mr. Everly has had very good success in the past at getting producers funded in Arkansas and across the United States.


COMMODITY CLASSIC
. . . .This three day convention and trade show is open to all friends of corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum- from growers to member associations to agribusiness to farm media.  Commodity Classic is February 28 – March 2 in Kissimmee, Florida.  There are still a limited number of rooms available in the Corn and Grain Sorghum Block at the Gaylord Palms.  To reserve one of these rooms contact Matt King at 501-228-1297. For more information or registration, please visit www.CommodityClassic.com


21st CENTURY AGRICULTURE: WINTER COVER CROPS AND WATER MANAGEMENT
. . . . .Memphis Biowork Foundation in cooperation with Southeast Missouri State University will host this free conference on February 5.  The one-day event will highlight and integrate the dominant economic, environmental and technological advancements that are currently establishing the Mid-South region as the nation’s premiere agricultural innovation area. For more information visit: http://e2.ma/message/xi56b/xi13ac


WHITE RIVER IS SECOND DESIGNATED AS ‘NATIONAL BLUEWAY
’. . . On January 9, 2013, at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock, officials from state and federal agencies, local communities and businesses, and non-profit organizations announced the designation of the White River and its entire basin or watershed, as a “National Blueway.” The White River is the second watershed to receive such recognition.


GENERAL MOTORS PRIVATE OFFER. . . Members can save $500 on qualifying 2011/2013 model year Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicles. Complete details at http://www.arfb.com/member_services/gm/

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