Terry Fankhauser, executive director of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, has been invited to join a diverse mix of speakers discussing wolf re-introduction at Colorado State University's annual Pathways Conference, scheduled for Sept. 22-26 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.

After speakers address the topic on Monday and Tuesday afternoon, a group discussion process is planned for Wednesday to develop related research priorities.

The presentations, which will feature leading experts from across the country, will address public perception, indigenous perspectives and current social science research on wolf reintroduction. Many of the presenters have worked on wolf reintroduction efforts in Yellowstone National Park and other key areas across the U.S.

According to CSU's Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, in July, 2019, when a wolf was sighted 90 miles northwest of Fort Collins, it was the first confirmed sighting in Colorado since 2015. More recently, there have been unconfirmed sightings of wolves in Cripple Creek in the mountains west of Colorado Springs.

Wolf reintroduction is at the forefront of many Coloradan's minds as State Initiative 107 attempts to get wolf reintroduction placed on the November 2020 ballot.

CSU's Pathways Conference was started in 2008 to "facilitate inquiry, increase collaboration and highlight the latest research on complex issues regarding how a growing global population can coexist with wildlife in a sustainable and healthy manner."

The conference is open to the public, but requires registration to attend. The deadline for online registration is September 9.

RMA announces inclusion of hemp insurance

Certain industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program for crop year 2020, according to the Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency. The agency announced this week that coverage for hemp grown for fiber, flower or seeds would be available to producers who are in areas covered by USDA-approved hemp plans or part of approved state or university research pilot programs. Producers can obtain immediate coverage for hemp if they are part of a state or university research pilot authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill. Other producers will not be able to obtain coverage until a USDA-approved plan is in place, according to RMA. Whole Farm revenue insurance, which provides coverage for all commodities produced on a farm at up to $8.5 million in revenue, and was specifically designed to expand coverage to growers of specialty crops, organic commodities and other non-traditional crops.

Ag groups herald trade breakthrough with Japan

A new trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan is expected to close the tariff gap created when President Trump removed the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Agricultural commodity groups report that they expect the tariff levels to be comparable to those of other nations that continued the TPP negotiation without the United States. While specific details are yet to be worked out, the agreement is expected to be finalized and signed late next month in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Meanwhile, following more turbulence in the trade war with China, President Trump said early this week that the two sides would resume negotiations. A week ago China announced new retaliatory tariffs, which included U.S. ag products, and that prompted Trump to respond in kind.