Pork Board Statement on Antibiotic-Resistant Gene

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

The National Pork Board reacted to the recent research paper from the Ohio State University research study detailing the researchers’ discovery of an antibiotic-resistant gene in one farrowing barn. They said an important takeaway from the study is that the U.S. pork supply is safe. The resistant gene identified in the study was not found in a market hog, and there was no threat to food safety.

As experts in swine production, the Pork Checkoff is eager to analyze the initial findings, alongside its authors, and better understand results of this report from this farm. Specifically, resistant gene samples were found in one barn, on one site without any confirmed indication of how the resistant gene got there.

Ohio State University researchers acknowledge that it is unknown how the Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria was introduced to the facility and that it could have been introduced by an outside source. The conclusions drawn without further validation, replication and research demonstrate this issue requires additional study.

The fact that CRE was found in one area of the farm indicates that current internal biosecurity measures are effective. The U.S. pork industry supports efforts to monitor for the occurrence of this type of isolated incident. However, consistent with FDA and Pork Quality Assurance® Plus requirements, Ceftiofur should only be used in the treatment and control of disease with veterinarian oversight and direction.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Research

What’s on Your Christmas List This Year?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Should EPA increase biofuels use?”

Energy diversity takes the win this week. EPA set final levels for biofuels use in 2017 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that are in line with the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, calling for the maximum 15 million gallons of conventional ethanol for the first time and increasing volumes for biomass-based biodiesel.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes – it’s the law – 60%
  • No – repeal RFS – 23%
  • Don’t know – 11%
  • Other – 6%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, What’s on your Christmas list?

I find it hard to believe it is already time for Christmas. I guess times flies when you’re having fun! Have you made your list for Santa? My nearly three-year-old has and it’s a doozy. I fit into the category of #AgNerd and check daily to see if Apple’s Airpods have been released yet. Sadly, the day hasn’t come. Are you looking for some new warm gear to do chores in, some ag tech to help make life on the farm easier or are you one of those who just asks for cash or gifts cards? Let us know!


Biosecurity and the Control of PRRS

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Strategies to help producers control, eliminate infectious diseases like PRRS is at the forefront of researchers minds throughout the country. The 2016 North American PRRS Symposium brings all those like minded folks together to share their discoveries and theories with peers. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) again hosted a seminar during the event focused on building on the best practices in the control of PRRS.

Dr. Daniel Linhares, Iowa State University of Science and Technology’s College of Veterinary Medicine, provided an update to attendees on PRRS stability studies and flash updates on PRRS detection and biosecurity studies.

When it comes to biosecurity, the goal is to help producers measure it and correlate it to the frequency of PRRS outbreaks. Dr. Linhares is interested in creating scores to identify the level of biosecurity practices found on farms. “In a pilot study, we had a 65% correlation, meaning farms with higher score were more likely for outbreak and lower score broke less.”

Moving forward, Dr. Linhares said they are inviting producers to enroll in a study to develop this measurement into a practical detection process. Listen to my complete interview to learn more about future goals and application at the farm level. Interview with Dr. Daniel Linhares, Iowa State University

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 BIVI PRRS Seminar Photo Album

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Audio, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pork, PRRS, Research, Swine, Veterinary

CattleFax Webinar on Cow-Calf Market in 2017

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

An upcoming free CattleFax webinar will address if the lows have been established for the cattle industry as well as provide an outlook for the cow-calf and entire beef industry for 2017.

The CattleFax Trends+ Cow-Calf Webinar will be Jan. 25, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. MT. To participate in the webinar and access program details, producers and industry leaders simply need to register online.

CattleFax analysts will discuss a variety of topics in the one-hour session, including:
– Cattle and feedstuff market projections for the next 12 to 18 months
– Supply expectations for the cattle and beef industry as well as competing meats
– Margin expectations and profit/risk management strategies for the cow-calf producer

The Trends+ webinar series informs cattle producers about current market conditions and provides decision-friendly advice regarding management decisions. The analysis and strategies shared through the series has reached more than 3,500 producers, and sponsorship from Elanco Animal Health is making the seminar free for all attendees.

Agribusiness, Beef, Cattle, Markets, Webinar

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • Hereford Publications Inc. (HPI) is now accepting applications for the summer communications internship. The intern will assist with projects of the Creative Services department, production of the Herd Book and the August and September Hereford World issues. The internship will provide experience in feature writing, photography, editing, proofing, communicating with clients and managing projects. Send cover letter, résumé́, three writing samples and references to Caryn Vaught, HPI production manager, cvaught@hereford.org or P.O. Box 014059, Kansas City, MO, 64101.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) has hired Kelsey Beamsley as an equine sales representative serving the Gulf Coast region and the addition of Justin Adcock as a territory manager on the company’s cattle sales team covering the Illinois and Indiana regions.
  • CattleFax will launch a new digital platform with expanded online resources for both members and non-members. Beginning Feb. 1, all cattle producers will have easy access to industry updates and management information on their mobile devices or desktops. The redesigned CattleFax.com and free CattleFax mobile application will become one-stop destinations for daily weather, futures markets, industry news, management tools and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.
Animal Bites

@BeefUSA Conducts Aggressive Membership Campaign

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

A hard-hitting, two-month membership campaign is being conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to strengthen the U.S. cattle producer’s voice in Washington, D.C. on issues critical to both individual cattlemen and women and the nation’s cattle industry. The “Tough Times Require a Tough Team” campaign will run through Jan. 31, 2017, and features benefits to cattle producers that are both immediate and long term.

“Cattlemen and women have a great NCBA team fighting on their behalf in Washington, D.C. every day, but a bigger team means a bigger voice,” according to Tracy Brunner, a Kansas cattleman and NCBA president. “The cattle producer’s enhanced voice in our nation’s capital can improve the business environment for U.S. beef cattle operations and help us keep those operations running today and well into the future.”

The Tough Times Require a Tough Team campaign will feature recruitment mailings to 70,000 potential members requesting their consideration, as well as advertising in publications and use of social media at the national and state levels.

In addition to adding to the potential success of cattle operations, there are immediate benefits to becoming an NCBA member. New NCBA members will get entered into a drawing for a $300 Polar Cap cooler, and receive a free liter of Dectomax pour-on wormer, a $130 value. Current NCBA members who recruit a new member will also be entered into the drawing. Members also receive numerous other benefits, such as discounts on Roper, Stetson and Tin Haul boots and apparel, and regular discounts on other ag-related purchases.

Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, Government, NCBA, Policy

BIVI & Bayer Agreement for Purchase of U.S. Cydectin®

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) have signed an agreement which states Bayer will acquire BIVI’s CYDECTIN bovine and ovine endectocide products in the U.S.

Once completed, the deal would include the transfer of CYDECTIN Pour-On, CYDECTIN Injectable and CYDECTIN Oral Drench. These endectocides with the active ingredient moxidectin offer persistent killing of internal parasites at multiple stages, including the most economically devastating parasite, Ostertagia ostertagi (brown stomach worm) and controls external parasites including lice, grubs and psoroptic mange mites on beef and dairy cattle.

“This transaction underlines our strategy to strengthen our portfolio with bolt-on acquisitions,” said Dr. Dirk Ehle, Head of Bayer Animal Health. “The U.S. is our most important market, and the addition of the CYDECTIN products will help further strengthen our position in cattle parasiticides in the U.S.”

“The CYDECTIN products are a perfect addition to our U.S. product portfolio,” added Joyce Lee, Head of Commercial Operations for Animal Health, North America. “They are complementary to our existing parasiticides portfolio, propelling Bayer’s strong position from the ectoparasitic space to now include endectocides.”

“We are pleased that veterinarians and cattle producers will continue to have access to the CYDECTIN line, and we are confident these products will have strong support after the sale with Bayer,” said Dr. Albrecht Kissel, president and CEO of BIVI.

The acquisition is anticipated to close by early 2017, subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission and other contingencies. The sale of BIVI’s U.S. CYDECTIN products is a required step toward BI’s acquisition of Merial as part of the larger swap transaction between Sanofi and BI.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cattle, Deworming

Pork Producers Working Together to Control PRRS

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Dr. Erin Lowe speaking at the 2015 North American PRRS Symposium.

Dr. Erin Lowe is the Technical Manager for the Solutions Team at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) and has been a driving force behind the Area Regional Control (ARC) programs fight against the control of PRRS. The 2016 North American PRRS Symposium was held over the weekend in Chicago and Dr. Lowe took time to share how the ARC programs can use some new research presented.

“ARC programs are a group of producers that are locally organized. They share information about what’s going on with PRRS and implement practices in order to reduce PRRS introduction and spread within the area.”

What was presented during the session was research stating pigs who were vaccinated and exposed to a low level of PRRS were able to still grow and appear as if they were never challenged with PRRS. “That means if we can reduce the amount of PRRS that is in the environment pigs get exposed to, they grow as if it never happened. It’s an important effort in our ARC projects to reduce the volume of PRRS in an area so we can all have better performance.”

Dr. Lowe admits that these research projects are very scientifically intense, but they have really been able to put it into charts and graphics in order to help producers understand the role they play in protecting their farm and the area. Listen to my complete interview with Dr. Lowe here: Interview with Dr. Erin Lowe, BIVI

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 BIVI PRRS Seminar Photo Album

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Audio, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pork, PRRS, Swine, Veterinary

USMEF Reports on New Philippine Regulatory Challenges

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

On this week’s audio report from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), USMEF senior vice president Joel Haggard discusses new challenges facing Philippine meat importers following a new decree issued by the Philippine Department of Agriculture.

The decree aims to prevent smuggling of imported agricultural products and evasion of import tariffs in the Philippines, a country that consistently ranks as a top 10 market for U.S. red meat exports, and a particularly strong destination for raw materials imported for further processing. This decree requires importers to now re-confirm their orders and has raised concerns about delays and interruptions for U.S. pork and beef products entering the market.

In the report, Haggard notes that this type of market access issue periodically surfaces in the Philippines, which is a large importer of red meat but also has significant domestic pork production. USMEF is working with the USDA office in Manila to keep exporters informed of the situation, and hopes to minimize any interruption of red meat shipments to the Philippines.

Listen to the full report here:
USMEF Report, Philippines Import Policy

Ag Group, Export, Export, Meat, Trade, USMEF

Smithfield Foods Adopts Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the first major protein company to announce a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal throughout its entire supply chain. By 2025, they will reduce their absolute GHG emissions by 25%. This goal will reduce emissions by more than 4 million metric tons. Smithfield collaborated with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in setting its goal.

“We are proud to lead the industry and set another first by launching an endeavor that is both environmentally beneficial and economically feasible,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “While we will have unique challenges meeting this goal as the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, our size and scale also means that, if successful, we can make a significant, positive impact. Our mission is to produce ‘Good food. Responsibly.’ This announcement is yet another acknowledgement of our commitment to doing just that.”

Smithfield collaborated with the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Institute for Sustainable Enterprise to estimate its GHG footprint, creating a robust model that can assist other protein companies in analyzing their own footprints. EDF served as an adviser in the development of the commitment.

“There is much work ahead for Smithfield to reach its goal,” said Fred Krupp, EDF president. “Success will require collaboration with farmers and others in the agricultural industry. We encourage companies to follow Smithfield’s leadership to make ambitious commitments to improve air and water quality. It’s important that the private sector play a role in protecting our natural resources.”

Agribusiness, environment, Food, Livestock