USDA’s Northey Kicks Off Alltech ONE18

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After the opening entertainment, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey was first to take the stage Monday morning at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was just discussing the issue of agricultural trade with China when President Trump tweeted “China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!”

“The opportunities to be able to grow in that market are important,” said Northey in an interview after his address. “It was also important for us to challenge where they were not following through on some of the promises that they made and the rules that they had agreed to.”

After meetings between U.S. and Chinese officials last week, the White House released a statement saying that, “China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services….Both sides agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports. The United States will send a team to China to work out the details.”

In addition to trade, Northey hit on a number of other topics during his address to the annual Alltech conference, including agricultural innovation, conservation, the farm bill, and renewable fuels.

Northey comments on all of that and more in this interview. Interview with USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey, ONE18

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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Got Milk? Got Jobs.

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The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have announced a new “Got Jobs? Dairy Creates Jobs, Exports Create More” campaign to spotlight dairy’s contribution to the health of the U.S. economy.

The campaign will share stories featuring hardworking dairy farmers, innovative dairy company employees, resourceful retailers and many others throughout the food supply chain at GotDairyJobs.org. The site will offer monthly features, videos and plenty of hard facts that demonstrate dairy’s continued impact on jobs, tax revenue and communities around the country. Using #GotDairyJobs, the dairy industry will amplify the campaign and create the dairy jobs conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The groups held a virtual news conference to announce the campaign with IDFA president and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M.; USDEC president and CEO Tom Vilsack; and NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern. Got Dairy Jobs campaign announcement

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Animal Ag Bites 5/21

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  • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 5 new members and 12 returning members to the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa joined a bipartisan group of senators, led by Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, to urge U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure Mexico honors its existing trade commitments and rejects the EU’s unfair trade proposal that will harm American cheese exporters, processors and dairy farmers.
  • Vermeer has created the next step in their processor evolution with the new BPX9010 bale processor. This all-around bale processor is designed for a variety of applications including distributing a consistent, uniform windrow in the pasture or bunk line and spreading bedding with consistency at ranges up to 50 ft.
  • The American Dairy Association of the Midwest, Illinois Chapter and their constituency of 600 Illinois dairy farm families announced a partnership with the UpField Group to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy, specifically, solar energy usage on dairy farms.
  • The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the Nation’s leading multi-stakeholder beef sustainability group, announced a new Board of Directors and Executive Officer group during the recent Fourth Annual General Assembly Meeting in Oklahoma City.
  • The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, announced its seventh annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners during a May 16 ceremony at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill., outside of Chicago. The program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the well-being of people, animals and the planet.
  • The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has agreed with a request from the National Pork Producers Council to review Thailand’s eligibility for the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program because of that country’s failure to provide access to its market for U.S. products, including pork.
  • The 2018 USPOULTRY Human Resources Seminar addressed a variety of topics that are impacting human resources professionals in today’s environment. In addition to regulatory updates, recruitment and retention were also discussed at great length.
  • Brookside Agra will feature its swine-specific products at World Pork Expo Booth #V808, June 6-8 in Des Moines, IA. For over 30 years, Brookside Agra has been a trusted source for safe, effective, all-natural feed additives and environmental, agricultural and animal health products.
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Alltech ONE 18 – the Disruption Continues

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ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 kicked off Sunday night with the traditional international dinner, but the real work starts this morning and Alltech Vice President Aidan Connolly says they will be focusing on ideas that are disrupting the industry.

“Some things you might not think about so much include 3-D printing, we are starting to see that more and more for machinery parts,” said Connolly. “We’ve been talking a lot about what could be possible with respect to virtual reality, to engage consumers.”

The conference will also feature five of the Pearse Lyons Accelerator program participants who will showcase some of their ideas that could transform agriculture.

Learn more in this pre-event interview with Aidan. Interview Alltech vice president Aidan Connolly on ONE18

Chuck and Jamie are on-scene at the conference and will be providing updates on @AgWired Twitter, taking lots of photos and sending back lots of interviews. One of the first this morning will be USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Bill Northey. Stay tuned for more!

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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Farm Bill Defeated in the House

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House Agriculture Committee Chair Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) delivered on his promise to get a farm bill written in a timely manner, but his colleagues in the House voted 198-213 Friday to reject his effort.

Prior to the vote, Rep. Conaway expressed his frustration as a last minute amendment was introduced to recommit the bill with instructions to the Committee on Agriculture. “You can love the farm bill or you can hate the farm bill but it delivers the most effective, affordable and safest food and fiber supply of any developed nation in the world,” said Conaway.

Democrats voted against the bill mainly for changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aimed at getting able-bodied adults under 60 without dependents or disabilities back to work, but it was 30 conservative Republicans wanting a vote on immigration that killed the bill.

Listen to Rep. Conaway’s remarks here: House Ag Chair Rep. Conaway

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ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018

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The transformative power of ideas is the focus of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018, May 20–22, in Lexington, Kentucky

An idea, even in its root meaning, is “to see.” Da Vinci, Einstein, Edison, the Wright brothers, Tesla, Bell, Borlaug and Fleming — they had the ability to see what others could not. Because they opened their eyes to possibilities and thrived in pursuit of them, we have light. We have abundant food. We can even fly. Ideas change everything.

The annual Alltech symposium, which draws thousands of international visitors to Lexington each May, is the brain child of Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech, who passed away earlier this year. “This meeting is synonymous with Pearse Lyons,” says his son Dr. Mark Lyons, who is now president and chairman of Alltech. “All the way through, this program will be remembering him.”

The program includes former vice chair of General Electric Beth Comstock, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey and groundbreaking neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi. Four thousand attendees from more than 70 countries are expected to attend this year’s 34th annual conference.

Learn more about ONE and this year’s program in this preview interview: Dr. Mark Lyons previews Alltech ONE 18

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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Cattlemen’s Webinar Looks at Sustainability

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The next event in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattlemen’s Webinar Series will focus on sustainability. Specifically, the webinar will be an opportunity to learn from fellow cattlemen about the recently released Sustainability Framework.

Produced through a U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef working group process, the framework includes real world tools specific to farms, ranches and feedyards. Hear more about these resources and your opportunity to comment on how they could be improved. There will be Q&A with presenters at the end of the webinar.

The webinar is schedule for Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. Central time. Register here.

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GROWMARK Talks Farm Bill Priorities

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The House version of the farm bill is expected to come to the floor this week, and GROWMARK is among those weighing in with policymakers about priorities for the legislation. The cooperative is particularly looking for support of the Conservation Title, among others.

“Important to conservation is to make sure that we have program funding to put conservation practices on the land. As an ag retailer, we’re very interested in working hand in glove with farmer as a partner in the watershed,” said Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK’s executive director for government relations, during an interview last week.

Spencer explained that GROWMARK would like to work in partnership with the USDA NRCS as a technical service provider to help farmers develop nutrient management plans, noting language for that already exists in the current House version. Spencer also named the Commodity Title as a priority, along with crop insurance and infrastructure policies.

In this interview, Spencer also discusses how sustainability in agriculture has become an important issue when talking with lawmakers on both the state and federal levels: Interview with Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK

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Funny Or Die Peel Back the Label Video

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Peel Back the Label has partnered with Emmy-winning video company Funny Or Die to produce a new video highlighting the absurdity of deceptive food labels with a tongue-in-cheek take on how far food companies are willing to go to confuse consumers into buying their products.

The video features two food executives – one from a milk company and the other from a marketing agency – scheming over how to separate their product from the rest of the pack, with consumers paying the price as they encounter increasingly ridiculous deceptive and misleading food labels with terms like “non-GMO” and “natural.”

“Anyone who has ever been to the grocery store knows the feeling of being manipulated when faced with dozens of labels all saying different things about the same types of products. With this video, we shine a spotlight – in a decidedly tongue-in-cheek way – on just how difficult some food companies are making grocery shopping, something which should be a simple and straightforward endeavor for consumers,” said Jim Mulhern, President of the National Milk Producers Federation.

Watch it and laugh – or cry because it’s so true!

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Animal Ag Bites 5/14

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  • Jared Brackett is the newly elected secretary/treasurer of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Jared lives and runs a cow-calf/stocker operation in southern Idaho. He is a fifth-generation rancher.
  • The three largest milk marketing cooperatives in California, California Dairies, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America and Land O’Lakes, Inc., on behalf of their respective members, have voted in support of the California Federal Milk Marketing Order as proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • For the second year in a row, Alltech is donating a KEENAN mixer wagon that will be auctioned off at the fifth annual South Dakota Prime Time Gala on June 23, 2018. Hosted by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation, the Prime Time Gala is an annual fundraiser that benefits Feeding South Dakota, an organization that provides emergency food assistance to thousands of people in any given week and hundreds of men, women and children every day across South Dakota.
  • Hubbard Feeds has committed $5,000 to help support the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation raise awareness of the hunger problem that exists in South Dakota as well as the need to provide more donated products to food insecure individuals and families.
  • My Dairy Dashboard, a data-visualization tool for dairy producers, earned the Ag Data Transparent seal after completing a required certification process. A multi-organization and company project, Ag Data Transparent was created to provide transparency, simplicity and trust in data collected through ag precision technology.
  • Scientists at ONCE, in conjunction with two major US universities, have found that the addition of an Ultraviolet A (UV-A) spectrum into animal housing lighting reduces stress levels by a significant margin. This reduction of stress represents possibly the biggest breakthrough for poultry animal welfare in recent history.
  • Join a webinar in the Cattlemen’s Webinar Series to learn from fellow cattlemen about the recently released Sustainability Framework. Produced through a U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef working group process, the framework includes real world tools specific to farms, ranches and feedyards.
  • GEA’s recently published book, GEA Milking Intelligence, is an illustrated guide to optimal cow milking. From milk harvest history and milking equipment function to promoting good cow flow and milk quality, the book illustrates the fundamentals of how milk is made and collected, while highlighting some of today’s advanced automation technologies.
  • Registration is now open with early bird savings available for the inaugural Poultry Tech Summit, scheduled for November 5-7, 2018, at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Poultry Tech Summit is a new one-of-a-kind conference showcasing innovative technologies that are ready for future application in poultry live production, processing and supply chain. The conference will connect entrepreneurs with technology experts and financiers looking for projects to fund.
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