Senator Says Trade is Top Concern in Iowa

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Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Kinze Manufacturing, for a town hall meeting in Williamsburg, IA Wednesday. The meeting was attended by Iowa equipment manufacturers, farmers, small business owners, and others impacted by tariffs.

The conversation included the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs on Iowa businesses and the state’s economy, as well as the impact of tariffs on China and retaliatory tariffs that have been levied on almost all U.S. agricultural food exports. “The best thing that we can do right now is simply just make sure that we’re getting these trade deals done, make sure those tariffs are coming off, that is the best way to keep our farmers in business,” said Sen. Ernst.

Listen to the Senator’s comments at the event here:
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst at AEM town hall

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2019 Can-Am Defender Ag Sales Event

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Hey farmers and ranchers, Can-Am is offering approved ag businesses a rebate worth up to $1,500 on select 2019 Can-Am Defender models. The program runs from now until June 30, 2019. Here’s some more information.

Built for a hard day’s work, the Can-Am Defender lineup includes a wide range of packages and engine options to fit the unique needs of workers everywhere. Defender side-by-side vehicles can tow up to 2,500 lbs. They can also handle up to 1,000 lbs in the innovative cargo box, which features cut-outs in the bed for five-gallon buckets to stay in place while driving, anchor points, and a large, easy to use, tailgate.

Farmers and ranchers can make work easier and more comfortable with the wide range of accessories available straight from the factory. Accessories offered by Can-Am include windshields, heaters, bed toolbox, tool holders, additional lighting, snow plows, track kits, and a variety of racks for more organized storage.

Click here to learn more about the U.S.A. Ag Sales Event.

For more information on all Can-Am vehicles, visit

Having used these vehicles I can personally attest to their ruggedness and value in the situations you might need them for. I have had the opportunity to test drive them for deer hunting the last two seasons.

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Can-Am, Farming

Passing of Dr. Aoife Lyons

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Dr. Aoife Lyons dances with her father Dr. Pearse Lyons at 2017 Alltech ONE

The ALL in Alltech has gone to join her father in heaven.

The Lyons family and Alltech announced today the passing of Dr. Aoife Louise Lyons on April 18.

Born on Aug. 1, 1973, in Ireland, she was the daughter of Alltech’s co-founders Dr. Pearse Lyons and Mrs. Deirdre Lyons, the sister of Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech’s president and CEO, and sister-in-law of Mark’s wife, Holly. Aoife was an integral part of Alltech from its very founding in 1980. The “All” in “Alltech” represents her initials — Aoife Louise Lyons.

Aoife was Alltech’s director of educational initiatives and engagement and was instrumental in fostering educational opportunities both within Alltech and in local communities around the world, including the prestigious Alltech Young Scientist competition, the world’s largest agriscience competition for university students. She created the company’s Career Development Program, a highly selective global recruitment and training initiative, and was beloved by these new Alltech team members as their mentor, “Dr. Aoife.”

Aoife, which is pronounced EE-fah, means “beauty” from the Gaelic word aoibh. In Irish legend Aoife was a warrior princess. She will be greatly missed by many, including us here at ZimmComm who enjoyed seeing her each year at the Alltech annual conference.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

AgWired Animal, Alltech

NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier Announces Retirement Plans

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After 34 years with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the past four as CEO, Kendal Frazier has announced his plans for retirement.

“I’m a lucky man to have worked in the cattle industry; what a wonderful journey this has been,” said Frazier in making the announcement. “It has been an honor to serve the men and women who make their living in the cattle business. I am confident that I’m leaving NCBA in a good place.”

NCBA will begin the search process to select a new CEO immediately, and Frazier will remain in place to assist with the transition process, until Dec. 31.

Frazier’s career began as a farm broadcaster in Kansas, where he also served as director of communications for Kansas Livestock Association, before moving to Denver, Colo., to join the staff of the National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA), predecessor organization to NCBA. During his illustrious career, he served the beef industry through some of its most challenging times and events. When NCA merged with the National Live Stock and Meat Board in 1996, Frazier was a member of the team who worked with staff and beef industry volunteer leaders to address a steep decline in demand, helping to address the consumer concerns which had led to losses in market share and falling prices. This work ultimately helped to reverse those declines and set the industry on a new, consumer-focused path

As CEO, Frazier has kept a sharp focus on the issues that matter most to the members and the industry he represents. He talks about many of those issues and the organization’s long range plan in this interview from the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention.

Interview with Kendal Frazier, CEO, NCBA CattleCon2019 Interview with Kendal Frazier, NCBA CEO

AgWired Animal, Audio, Beef, Cattle Industry Conference, NCBA

Pig Farmers Make 55 Years of Sustainability Progress

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Just in time for Earth Day, the National Pork Board has released a new study from the University of Arkansas confirming that “today’s pork is more earth-friendly than ever thanks to great progress in multiple key sustainability metrics over more than five decades.”

According to the new study, A Retrospective Assessment of U.S. Pork Production: 1960 to 2015, the inputs needed to produce a pound of pork in the United States have become more environmentally friendly over time. Specifically, 75.9% less land is needed, 25.1% less water and 7% less energy. This also has resulted in a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint (see infographic.)

To save as much water as today’s pig farms do over their predecessors of 50-plus years ago, the average American would have to take 90 fewer showers per year. Likewise, to understand the energy savings accomplished by pig farmers during the study period, a typical household would need to eliminate the use of a refrigerator altogether.

This new Pork Checkoff-funded study used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment approach with a field-to-farm gate approach, including material and energy flows associated with the full supply chain, beginning with extraction of raw materials through production of live, market-weight pigs, including marketed sows.

AgWired Animal, Food, Livestock, Pork, Pork Checkoff, sustainability

Animal Ag Bites 4/22

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  • Vita Plus Loyal has selected a high school senior as a recipient of the 2019 “Our Future is Agriculture” scholarships. This year’s recipient of the Vita Plus Loyal scholarship is Katerina Kolzow of Colby High School.
  • The 68th annual National Breeders Roundtable agenda will include topics addressing Genomic Selection in Turkeys: Conceptual, Theoretical and Applied Aspects; Consumers Flocking Online: Social Media’s Impact on Poultry Breeding; An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Applications in Animal Breeding; Precision Feeding: Measuring and Modeling Feed Efficiency; Improving Accuracy of Genome Breeding Values Using a Selected Small Data Set; and more. Registration is now open for the conference, which will be held May 16 -17 at the Hilton St. Louis Airport hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. To view the agenda, register and reserve hotel rooms, visit
  • The Pork Checkoff has awarded 20 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s future human capital. This year’s top scholarship recipients are Jenna Chance and Jadelyn Stewart, who will receive a $5,000- and $3,500-scholarship, respectively.
  • The American Feed Industry Association announced that John Stewart, AFIA’s manager of government affairs for the past two years, will transition to the newly created role of director of membership and stakeholder engagement in early May.
  • The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) is proud to celebrate a decade of service to the animal food industry, conducting many high-priority research and education projects that protect the animal food industry’s license to operate and provide scientific-based information to decisionmakers and consumers so they can make informed policy and purchasing decisions.
  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the government of Tunisia and the United States have finalized U.S. export certificates to allow imports of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products into Tunisia.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council announced the launch of a campaign to celebrate the conservation success story of the gray wolf.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

2019 IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Announced

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The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) has announced the recipients of this year’s IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award. The program honors 10 young agricultural journalists and communicators who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in reporting as well as excellent potential as leaders of the industry in the years to come. The honorees were chosen by an international jury among applicants from many of IFAJ’s 50 member countries.

This year’s IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders are:

Prince Appiah, Multimedia Group, Ltd., Ghana
Moses Bailey, Radio Gbarnga/The Bush Chicken, Liberia
Kasey Brown, Angus Media, United States of America
Marzell Buffler, Landmedien Deutschland, Germany
Melissa Dahlqvist, Swedish Agro Machinery, Sweden
Seedy Darboe, Network of Ag Communicators, The Gambia
Louise Denvir, RTÉ, Ireland
Abi Kay, Farmers Guardian, United Kingdom
Samantha Tennent, Dairy NZ, New Zealand
Angus Verley, Australian Broadcasting Company, Australia

The 10 honorees will attend the 2019 IFAJ Congress in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, in July. The Young Leaders will also participate in a Boot Camp in the days prior to Congress, which includes professional development and networking workshops and farm visits in southern Minnesota.

AgWired Animal, Alltech, IFAJ

Egg Prices Down for Easter

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About 180 million eggs are purchased each year in the United States for Easter, and this year they are a little less pricey than normal.

According to an American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) analysis, the typical seasonal bump in retail egg prices that normally occurs just prior to Easter did not not happen this year because an increase in the supply of eggs has placed downward pressure on retail prices.

“At 79 cents per dozen, retail egg prices showed a moderate price decline two weeks prior to Easter, rather than the normal seasonal bump,” explained AFBF Economist Michael Nepveux. In March, wholesale large egg prices averaged 93 cents per dozen, a 56 percent decline compared to a year ago.

The current supply of eggs is more than adequate to meet retail demand for the holidays, Nepveux noted.

In March 2019, wholesale egg prices averaged 93.02 cents/dzn. This is a decline of 56 percent from 2018, but an increase of 38 percent from 2017.

Read the AFBF Market Intel update.

AFBF, AgWired Animal, Eggs, Food

Professional Agri-Marketers Honored

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The three highest individual awards from the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) were presented last week at the annual Agri-Marketing Conference.

Congratulations to Lynn Huston, John Deere Financial, who was named Agribusiness Leader of the Year. This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, recognizes outstanding leadership in private, public or academic service and is conferred each year to a senior agribusiness executive who not only exemplifies excellence in agribusiness, but has also made significant contributions to the industry. Huston has been a key contributor to the John Deere Financial team for the past 22 years. During this time, Huston focused on highlighting women in agriculture and the critical role they play in farm operations and in shaping the industry as a whole.

Listen to her remarks here:
NAMA19 Agribusiness Leader Lynn Huston, John Deere Financial

Dean Broadhead of broadhead was named NAMA Marketer of the Year. This award is sponsored by Agri-Marketing magazine. This recognition is the most prestigious honor awarded to an active member of the association and recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the field of agri-marketing. Dean founded broadhead with a unique goal to connect urban and rural. Over the 18 years broadhead has been in business, the agency has been able to work in many different sectors of agriculture and work to bridge the gap between rural and urban audiences.

Listen to Dean’s remarks here:
NAMA19 Marketer award Dean Broadhead

Congratulations to American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvallfor the Ag Association Leader award. Duvall has been president of AFBF since January 2016 after serving for nine years as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau. While he was unable to attend the NAMA conference last week in person, Duvall sent a video message thanking NAMA for the honor.

NAMA19 Ag Association award Zippy Duvall, AFBF

2019 National Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album

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Animal Ag Bites 4/15

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  • Nominations for the 13th annual National Beef Quality Assurance Awards are now being accepted. Deadline for nominations is June 7, 2019.
  • The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers have released an updated economic impact study that highlights the positive impact the poultry industry has on jobs, wages, and federal and state revenue in the United States. A dynamic and integral part of the national economy, the U.S. poultry industry provides 1,984,784 jobs, $108.9 billion in wages, $495.1 billion in economic activity and $38.5 billion in government revenue. Since the last study conducted in 2016, the poultry industry has created 302,515 additional jobs, and the economic impact has increased by 11 percent.
  • Federal lands ranchers from across the West attended the 2019 Public Lands Council Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The event was a platform for official association business and featured updates from congressional and agency officials.
  • Harris Farms, Inc. Owner John Harris and Central Valley Meat Company, Inc. President and CEO Brian Coelho announced that Central Valley Meat Holding Company will acquire Harris Ranch Beef Holding Company, including its wholly owned subsidiaries, Harris Feeding Company and Harris Ranch Beef Company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • BoVantage from Kent Nutrition Group has a new name: NutriVantage® for beef. NutriVantage is a Nutrition Optimizer®, an exclusive feed supplement that is a unique blend of natural ingredients, vitamins and minerals that impact cattle performance at every stage and help to increase dry matter intake up to 10 percent.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites