Grassland Dairy Products Joins DSSA

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Grassland Dairy Products has is the newest member of the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance (DSSA), a diverse group of partners who have come together to ensure that all touchpoints in the production of dairy foods are continuously improving.

The goal of the alliance is to show tangible continuous improvements in animal care, environmental conservation, food safety and other practices through collaborative efforts in all aspects of the dairy community.

Grassland Dairy Products joins a host of other partners in a working group charged with developing the program: American Society of Agronomy, Dairy Business Association, Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, Foremost Farms USA, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, The Nature Conservancy, Peninsula Pride Farms, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and Yahara Pride Farms.

“Our dairy farmers are committed to producing milk in a sustainable manner for the environment, their animals, employees and business in general. Grassland is excited to cultivate this knowledge and offer a platform on which farmers can share that knowledge to the betterment of the dairy community and dairy market as a whole,” said Trevor Wuethrich, president of Grassland Dairy Products. “Dairy farmers are innovative by nature and the DSSA allows a platform to build on that unique skill set.”

The alliance focuses on establishing “milksheds” throughout Wisconsin. A milkshed is a group of farms working together with a dairy processor. Farmers and their processor use established tools to measure their environmental footprint and track progress toward being more sustainable. Combining farm data with processor data provides customers with a more complete picture of the overall sustainability of Wisconsin’s dairy community.

Ag Group, Dairy, Dairy Strong, sustainability

Animal Ag & Ethanol Working Together

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

L-R: RFA CEO Bob Dinneen, former NPPC president Randy Spronk, NCGA CEO Chris Novak

At the National Ethanol Conference this week, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen sat down with representatives from the corn and livestock industries to talk about the current state of the farm economy, the policy impact of historic surpluses, and moving past food versus fuel.

Dinneen discussed common ground with National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak and National Pork Producers Council past president Randy Spronk. Listen to the discussion here: #RFANEC Ag Groups discussion

National Ethanol Conference photo album

Ag Group, Audio, ethanol, Feed, NPPC

KS Dairy Farmer Testifies to Senate Ag Committee

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Kansas dairy farmer Lynda Foster says dairy farmers need Congress to make improvements in the dairy title of the farm bill this year, and not wait until 2018. In a field hearing Thursday on the campus of Kansas State University, Foster told members of the Senate Agriculture Committee that “dairy farmers deserve better” than the current Margin Protection Program (MPP).

“We need Congress to act swiftly this year and make the necessary changes in order for our industry to be able to protect ourselves from the bad year that could arrive at any time, even in years where experts are predicting higher margins.”

She testified on behalf of her cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America and the National Milk Producers Federation.

The MPP has failed to provide the level of protection envisioned in its original form. This has resulted in decreased participation in the program and dissatisfaction among dairy farmers across the country, Foster said.

Read More

Ag Group, Dairy, Dairy Group, DFA, Milk, National Milk

Study of Antibiotic Use on Farms & Resistant Salmonella

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

A team of interdisciplinary scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Charleston VA Medical Center Research Service recently reviewed published literature for evidence of a relationship between antibiotic use in agricultural animals and drug-resistant foodborne Salmonella infections in humans, commonly known as salmonellosis.

According to the 2013 CDC Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report, two of the eighteen pathogens that are of concern in the United States may have a direct link to agriculture — one of them being Salmonella.

The study — conducted by veterinary and nutrition scientists and an infectious disease physician — reviewed 104 articles in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Scotland and Ireland over the past five years and has been published in [volume 57, issue 3] of Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Animals included in the reviewed studies were chicken, turkeys, pigs, beef cattle, and dairy cows.

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Ag Group, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Research, Salmonella

Watch Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman at Commodity Classic

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman will preview at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas before it airs worldwide on Discovery Channel in August. Based on a book by the same name, the Discovery Impact film weaves together the stories of a Montana rancher, two Kansas farmers and a handful of Gulf fishermen who feed the world while stewarding the land and water they work.

“The men and women profiled in the book and film work tirelessly to protect America’s natural resources, make their operations more productive and resilient and leave a legacy for their children. They don’t receive much credit for their conservation achievements, and we’re trying to change that,” said Miriam Horn of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“Most farmers I know have spent a lifetime trying to do a better job of protecting the soil and water resources on their farms. This love of the land and how to grow crops more sustainably is passed down in many cases for four generations or more,” said Brent Hostetler, National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Sustainability Action Team chairman and a farmer from Plain City, Ohio. “This project opens public dialogue to challenge traditional notions and shows how modern farming and environmentalism can go hand in hand.”

Horn authored Rancher, Farmer Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland, on which the film is based. NCGA and EDF will host an audience Q&A with Horn after the screening. The screening and audience discussion will be held in the Lila Cockrell Theatre during Commodity Classic’s Closing Learning Center Session on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 1:30–3:30 pm CDT. Anyone with a Commodity Classic badge may attend.

Ag Group, Conservation, environment, Farming, Fish, Ranches, sustainability

Investing In Angus Breeding Technology

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

In a new video clip from Certified Angus Beef LLC and the American Angus Association, Braden Schaal, owner and manager of Schaal Cattle Company talks about GeneMax, the selection and breeding technology that has improved beef quality in his commercial Angus herd.

After beginning a timed breeding program with 100 heifers five years ago, Schaal plans to AI more than 1,000 head this year, all in pursuit of rapid genetic improvement.

“GeneMax tells me the weaknesses of my cattle, and AI tells me how I can complement or improve those weaknesses of my cattle,” says Shaal in the video. “If there’s a heifer that has a lower percentage of milk I can go capture that by pairing her up with a sire that will complement the milk. Or if there is something that has a little less tenderness, I can complement that with the sire.”

Ag Group, Angus, Breeding, Reproduction, Technology, Video

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for a 2017 Summer public policy intern as well as a semester law clerk. The deadline to submit an application for either position is March 1, 2017.
  • Elizabeth Kempel and Jill Uhe have joined the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative as member services representatives. They will help the co-op expand services to members, including recruitment and member engagement, and will also support farmers within the new Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance.
  • The American Sheep Industry Association’s Let’s Grow Committee announced the dates for the fifth-round of grant funding. Funding is available for projects that support, promote and ensure the U.S. sheep industry’s future through the development of innovative and sustainable initiatives that increase the productivity, profitability and growth of the American sheep industry. Applications are now available and are due April 20 with the award announced on May 15.
  • Animal Bites

    #NFMS17 Showcases Deere’s New 5R Tractors

    Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

    Chris Lammie is pretty excited about his job with John Deere small tractors– especially the brand new 5R Series being shown at the National Farm Machinery Show. The 5R series features incredible maneuverability with a 12.1 foot turning radius, a comfortable cab, brand new loader, improved visibility and a fully electronic clutch.

    It also comes with a fantastic lighting package, combined with the panoramic cab roof and interactive display now on the righthand post that mean the user can see everywhere at a glance.

    “And it’s incredibly comfortable” Lammie told Chuck Zimmerman at NFMS. “All day I’ve been watching people climb up in it. They sit down in the seat and you see them smile, and whoever they’re with they say ‘Oh yeah, this is good.'”

    The 5R was also designed to go with the John Deere 540R Loader. The loader’s automatic mast latch, single-point hydraulic connection, remote implement latch and slide-slung self-leveling links provide an integrated loader experience for the 5R Tractor operator. Removal or installation of the loader can be accomplished with a single trip out of the cab, thanks to a latch system that automatically connects the loader once contact is made between the loader boom and mounting frames, simplifying the connection process.

    Listen to Chuck’s full interview with Lammie here to learn about availability and other features of the 5R series:Interview with Chris Lammie, John Deere

    2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

    Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
    Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
    Agribusiness, Audio, Equipment, John Deere

    2016 U.S. Pork Exports Show Impressive Progress

    Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

    U.S. pork exports have shown impressive progress at year-end 2016 following a challenging 2015. 5.1 billion pounds of pork and pork variety meats valued at $5.94 billion dollars were exported in 2016, up 8 percent and 7 percent respectively from 2015, according to the USDA.

    “We saw a strong 2016 for U.S. pork exports, but we still face challenges with increased global competition and a stronger U.S. dollar,” said Becca Nepple, vice president of international marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “The Checkoff is committed to bolstering its partnership with international customers through additional funding of in-country promotions of U.S. pork with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.”

    On average, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports accounted for 25.8 percent of total pork production in 2016. Export value returned an average $50.20 per head back to producers.

    With more pork available in the U.S., the National Pork Board recently approved an increase of 12.7 percent in funding for 2017 export market activities.

    During 2016, more than 100 countries around the world imported U.S. pork. The top five markets by volume were Mexico, China/Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Central and South America. The top five markets by value were Japan, Mexico, China and Hong Kong, Canada and Korea.

    Ag Group, Export, Export, Pork, Pork Checkoff

    Cattlemen’s Webinar Series on Beef Cattle Selection Tools

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    Time to register for the next Cattlemen’s Webinar Series on ‘Understanding Advancements in Beef Cattle Selection Tools.’ The webinar will take place Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. Central and is brought to you by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

    Get the latest update cattle selection tools and how to use them including: New EPD calculation software, updated across breed EPD comparison tools, EPDs for new traits and improved incorporation of genomic information into selection tools. These are more will be covered by industry and academic leaders during the webinar. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to answer participant questions at the end of the presentation.

    Presenters include:
    – Matt Spangler, PhD, University of Nebraska
    – Dan Moser, PhD, American Angus Association
    – Wade Shafer, PhD, American Simmental Association
    – Larry Keenan, Red Angus Association of America

    Ag Group, Beef, Breeding, Education, NCBA, Reproduction, Webinar