Free Trade RV tour continues

Farmers for Free Trade, a national coalition supported by leading farm commodity groups, is taking an RV tour across the country to promote the need for Congress to quickly pass a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).Congress is expected to soon consider the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, an agreement intended to replace NAFTA that would set new rules guaranteeing farmers more access to Mexico and Canada.

The RV tour, which can be followed on twitter at #MotorcadeForTrade, is making stops across the country at family farms, coffee shops, ag equipment dealerships and various businesses to highlight American farmers' reliance on trade with the two neighboring countries. A recent stop in Oklahoma City marked the beginning of the tour's southern leg, which will include stops in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California before traveling up the West Coast. By tour's end, organizers hope to see the USMCA Agreement passed. 

New parks and wildlife director named

Gov. Jared Polis has named Dan Prenzlow the new director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Prenzlow is a Colorado native who brings more than 33 years of experience with the agency to his new role. He currently serves as the Southeast Regional Manager for CPW. In that role, he leads a diverse region based in Colorado Springs that extends from the heights of the Arkansas Headwaters near Leadville to the eastern plains and grasslands of the Arkansas River Valley.

As one of four regional managers, Prenzlow served on the CPW leadership team during a time of great change that saw the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation merged into Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 2011. Prenzlow has worked with many non-profit organizations and local governments to secure landscape-scale conservation, coordinate habitat enhancements, increase outdoor recreation opportunities for all user groups, increase hunter and angler access and develop a state-of-the-art sportsman's shooting range located at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.

Kansas flooding likely to continue

Rainfall patterns that have turned farm fields into unintended ponds and swelled rivers to capacity and beyond are likely to continue into June, according to weather specialists at Kansas State University.

The persistent pattern has consisted of back-and-forth movement of a stationary front across the Central Plains. This front is separating below-normal temps to the north and west and above-normal warm temps to the south and east, said Chip Redmond, who manages the Kansas Mesonet, a system of weather stations across the state.

Because of already saturated soils, Redmond and his colleague, assistant state climatologist Mary Knapp, don't expect flooding issues to end in Kansas anytime soon.

"It is almost a guarantee that water control issues will continue into June, if not worsen," Redmond said.

Areas in the central and eastern part of the state have been particularly hard hit. Springtime temperatures have also been below normal, a trend Knapp said is also likely to continue well into next month.


Corn Refiners hire Gardner, Bowen

The Corn Refiners Association has hired Steve Gardner as chief operating officer and Robin Bowen as vice president of external affairs, CRA President and CEO John Bode has announced.

Gardner was most recently chief operating officer for Crosby-Volmer International Communications.

Earlier he held senior communications positions at the American Chemistry Council, the Aluminum Association, and the US Pharmacopeial Convention.

Bowen has held senior positions at the Mercatus Center and McDermott Will & Emery, where she counseled alcohol beverage producers, importers, and retailers.

Bowen clerked for the Judge Eugene Siler on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in addition to serving as a senior legislative assistant for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

A Kentuckian, Bowen earned her bachelor of arts degree from Transylvania University and her juris doctor from the Washington College of Law at The American University.