In absence of federal law, states take up country of origin labeling

Several states are considering country of origin labeling (COOL) proposals, which would require that beef products be labeled as imported or domestic products. The state proposals follow several years of attempts by rancher groups to revive federal law that would require country of origin labeling for beef.

Colorado may revive country-of-origin labels on beef

A bill in the Colorado legislature would require that raw beef sold in the state be identified as either “USA Beef” or “Imported Beef,” says Drovers. The bill’s House sponsor says it would boost cattle prices in Colorado.

Wildlife agency suspends use of ‘cyanide bombs’ on coyotes

Wildlife Services, the branch of the USDA that controls so-called problem wildlife, will no longer use “cyanide bombs” to kill coyotes on public lands in Colorado.

Colorado farmers pump less and pay more for water

A decade or more ago, farmers in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado began to run out of irrigation water. The solution, after years of court cases and finger-pointing, was an agreement to raise the price of water, says the NPR blog The Salt.

In Colorado River Basin, project pays ranchers to leave land dry

A first-of-its kind program in the Colorado River basin is paying ranchers and farmers to forgo their water rights in order to conserve the region’s rivers and lakes. Launched in 2014, the $15-million “money-for-water program” was funded “by the four largest municipal water providers in the Colorado River basin (which includes Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and California), along with the Bureau of Reclamation,” says High Country News.

Worst broadband in the country? Try southwestern Colorado.

Thinly populated Saguache County in southwestern Colorado finished at the bottom of a FiveThirtyEight analysis of national broadband usage. According to the report, in Saguache County, “only 5.6 percent of adults were estimated to have broadband.”

With some revisions, Boulder County will end GE crops, neonics on county land

By the same 2-1 vote as last November, Boulder County commissioners approved a new version of their plan to phase out genetically engineered corn and sugar beets on county-owned farmland.

Vilsacks become strategic advisers for CSU project

Colorado State University has appointed former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie, as strategic advisors for three years in launching new initiatives, including the National Western Center in northern Denver, said the Denver Post. The university intends to turn the site of the National Western stock show into a university-like setting for innovators to tackle global water, food and population issues.

Decision on grazing sheep in wilderness area takes longer than expected

The Forest Service is wading through public comments on its proposal to continue to allow ranchers to graze up to 5,600 sheep in the largest wilderness area in Colorado, which is three-quarters of the size of Rhode Island, says The Associated Press. Despite hopes that a decision on the year-old proposal would be announced this winter, it could be months before that happens, according to a Forest Service spokeswoman.