Animal Ag Bites 1/21

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        • In response to erroneous reports in the news and (mostly) on social media, the National Pork Producers Council is reminding pork producers and consumers that federal meat inspectors are working in meat packing plants despite the government shutdown. NPPC and other livestock groups a year ago urged Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to deem as essential USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors. Also continuing to operate during the shutdown are USDA Market News Service staff who produce the twice-daily livestock mandatory price reports, which are the sole source of market information on sales to packers of cattle, hogs and lambs and on the subsequent sale of meat products.
        • The National Pork Producers Council said it cannot support a trade agreement between the United States and the European Union that does not include agriculture, after the European Commission issued draft negotiating mandates to EU member states that doesn’t include talks on agriculture.
        • The International Production & Processing Expo will be held Feb. 12–14, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. IPPE offers attendees access to the latest in protein and feed technology through exhibits and educational programing. TECHTalks are free, 20-minute technical presentations, offered each day at IPPE. See the schedule here.
        • Mike Gauss has been named president for Kent Nutrition Group (KNG) effective January 1, 2019. John Thorpe, previous president of KNG, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer for Kent Corporation, the parent company for KNG, Grain Processing Corporation, Kent Precision Foods Group and Kent Pet Group.
        • More than 50,000 cattle producers have been certified through the Beef Quality Assurance program’s new online learning system since it was first offered in February 2017.
        • Jarrod Blackburn recently joined the Vita Plus Loyal team as a dairy specialist. Based in central Wisconsin, Blackburn will provide customized feed and nutrition strategies as well as management expertise for every area of the dairy farm.
        • Sullivan Higdon & Sink’s work for Twist’d Q Seasonings & Rubs, Merck Animal Health, Bayer and Shatto Milk Company was recognized by the Best of NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) Awards, Region II, during an awards banquet in Kansas City.
        • Birko launches its Elite 360® Precision Application Technology at the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta.
        • Culver’s restaurant chain is covering the registration fees of the first 250 FFA members and advisors for FFA Day at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show on Friday, Feb. 1, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The FFA Day sponsorship is made possible through Culver’s Thank You Farmers® Project.
        • Cheese, dairy, milk and yogurt processing have long been an integral part of the PROCESS EXPO trade show and the 2019 event, taking place October 8-11, 2019 in Chicago’s McCormick Place.
        • Chad Zuleger has joined the Dairy Business Association’s policy team. Zuleger has worked in Wisconsin legislative offices, for private companies and with a trade association during 22 years of government affairs work.
        • Vytelle announced a partnership with global livestock reproductive services innovator Sexing Technologies® (ST) for the use of ST’s proprietary reverse semen sorting technology.
        • The top 10 teams of the Food Science and Technology Career Development Event have been invited to attend the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo, as a result of the USPOULTRY Foundation’s ongoing initiative to further attract students to the poultry and egg industry.
        • The Center for Consumer Freedom sent a letter to State’s Attorney Michael O. Twigg in Cumberland, Maryland, urging for a full and thorough investigation of the animal liberation group PETA for felony wiretapping based on a judge’s ruling in a federal court case. The letter can be read here.
        • The American Feed Industry Association is pleased to see the Donald Trump administration include agriculture in its trade negotiating objectives with the EU, but cautions against seeking these objectives in stages, rather than in a single negotiation.
        • The 2019 Stakeholders Summit will be May 8-9 in Kansas City. To view the agenda and register, visit Early registration discounts are available through February 1.
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ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference Announces 2019 Speakers

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ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE19) returns to Lexington, Kentucky May 19-21 this year with Bear Grylls and Chris Zook to anchor the event’s 35th annual exploration of transformative ideas.

Bear Grylls, one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure, will take the ONE19 mainstage. Grylls starred in seven seasons of the Discovery Channel’s Emmy Award-nominated “Man vs. Wild” television series, which became one of the most watched shows on the planet. The BAFTA award-winning host trained in martial arts from a young age, and his survival skills were later perfected during his service in the 21 Special Air Service Regiment. When a free-fall parachuting accident left him with a broken back, Grylls’ grit and determination guided his long recovery. He went on to become one of the youngest people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Chris Zook is a best-selling author of books on leadership and business strategy and an advisory partner at the renowned consulting firm Bain & Company. Zook specializes in guiding companies to find new sources of profitable growth and renew themselves internally to become more adaptive and entrepreneurial. He was included by the Times of London in its biannual list of the “50 Most Influential Global Business Thinkers.” He was also named “one of the most interesting strategic thinkers working today” by “The Financial Times Guide to Strategy.”

Alltech’s flagship conference is attended annually by nearly 4,000 people from over 70 countries who gather to dream bigger and explore solutions to improve their businesses and the world around them. Additional ONE19 speakers and session topics will be announced shortly.

Learn more and register at by Jan. 31 to save $300.

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Farm Bureau Adopts Policies

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As the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention wrapped up yesterday in New Orleans, member delegates adopted policies on key topics such as farm bill implementation, cell-cultured food products, trade, rural broadband access and rural mental health programs.

“As our organization has done for the last 100 years, grassroots delegates from across the nation came together to express a unified voice on issues vital to the success of our farms, ranches and rural communities,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said. “We continue to face a challenging farm economy and we stand ready to work with Congress and the Trump administration to address the issues important to our farm and ranch families.”

Delegates urged the administration and Congress to work together to end the government shutdown as soon as possible. Delegates voted to favor negotiations to resolve trade disputes, rather than the use of tariffs or withdrawal from agreements. They also voted to support the United States’ entry into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Regarding cell-based food, delegates adopted a comprehensive policy to support innovation in cell-based food products while ensuring a level playing field for traditional protein. The policy also calls for complete and accurate product labels to ensure that consumers have all the pertinent information they need.

Listen to Duvall’s closing remarks to the press – AFBF19 Pres Duvall closing press conference

Press releases, audio downloads, video, and photos from the entire convention can be found in the AFBF Newsroom.

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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Animal Ag Alliance Debuts Sustainability Report

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The Animal Agriculture Alliance has released its “Sustainability Impact Report” focusing on animal agriculture in the United States.

The report covers nine industries: dairy, beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, egg, sheep and aquaculture. “Animal agriculture has made great strides in environmental stewardship, animal welfare and overall sustainability over the years,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “As new technology and research become available, the industry will continue to innovate and improve.”

Read the report.

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President Trump Addresses 100th AFBF Convention

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For the second year in a row, President Donald J. Trump addressed the members of the American Farm Bureau Federation at its 100th annual convention Monday in New Orleans.

Despite being nearly an hour late, the president was greeted by thousands of farmers and ranchers who had been in place waiting to see him since early in the morning, and he did not disappoint. President Trump spent about half of the speech talking about the importance of border security and getting a wall, which is a very big issue for agriculture and especially for ranchers like Jim Chilton of Arizona who lives on the border and has smugglers coming into the country through his property. “Mr. President, we need a wall,” said Chilton when he was invited on stage by the president.

Trump hit on all the important agricultural issues of the day, from trade and the estate tax, to WOTUS and ethanol. “We are fighting for the American farmer and we are fighting for the American dream,” the president said as he wrapped up his one hour address. “The greatest harvest is yet to come. The future for America’s farmers is bigger, better, bolder and brighter than ever before.”

Listen here:
AFBF19 President Trump address

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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Sen. Moran Hosts Townhall at #AFBF19

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Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) hosted a townhall meeting at the 100th American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show on Sunday in New Orleans.

Moran, together with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a resolution last week recognizing AFBF’s 100th anniversary and celebrating their long history representing farmers across the United States.

“For a century, American Farm Bureau has advocated and fought for agriculture and rural America,” said Sen. Moran. “This resolution honors AFBF and the countless contributions they and their over six million member families in all 50 states have had on our nation’s producers.”

Sen. Moran held a press conference following his townhall meeting where he talked about trade and other important agricultural issues.
AFBF19 Sen. Jerry Moran press conference

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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Sen. Roberts Addresses #AFBF19

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Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), who just announced he will be retiring from Congress after his current term ends in 2020, addressed some 7,000 members of the American Farm Bureau Federation at the organization’s 100th annual convention Sunday in New Orleans.

Known for his caustic wit and straight talk, as well as his dedication to the agriculture community, Roberts served eight terms in the House and this is his fourth in the Senate. He is the first member of Congress to chair the Agriculture Committees in both Houses.

His address to Farm Bureau focused on the 2018 Farm Bill and trade issues, and proved to be as entertaining as ever. He also gave a nice shout out to members of the farm media. “Thank God for the ag press, they tell it like it is, they shine the light of truth into darkness,” said Roberts.

Listen here:
AFBF19 Sen Pat Roberts remarks

Roberts also held a press conference for the media where he addressed a number of current topics:
AFBF19 Sen Pat Roberts press conference

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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Animal Ag Bites 1/14

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  • Applications are being accepted for college scholarships that are awarded by America’s dairy farmers and importers through the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. Eleven scholarships worth $2,500 each will be awarded, in addition to a $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship to one outstanding recipient. Applications can be downloaded at or by sending an e-mail to DMI’s Nate Janssen at Completed applications should be postmarked no later than April 26.
  • Plans are underway for the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2019 to be held at the Madison Marriott West, Madison, Wis. Conference registration is now open.
  • Nedap, a global leader in swine and dairy management systems, recently hired Cheryl Day and Jeff Morten to join its North American swine support team and José Roberto Simeone for its Latin America swine support team. Day joins as the U.S. vice president of business development, Morten joins as the U.S. sales manager and Simeone as the Latin America sales manager.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase roughly 1.8 million pounds of pork products from Brazilian firm JBS, one of the world’s largest meatpackers, using funds appropriated by the Trump Administration to help American family farmers and ranchers weather the administration’s trade war. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said the funds should instead be targeted to American farmers and ranchers.
  • The American Feed Industry Association announced the addition of Lacie Dotterweich as its communications coordinator, effective January 4.
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AFBF Celebrates Centennial

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American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall officially opened the organization’s 100th annual convention in New Orleans Sunday before approximately 7,000 farmers and ranchers from across the nation.

Duvall outlined a few of the organization’s many historic accomplishments since 1919, such as leading the way on the nation’s first farm bill in the 1930s and helping develop the Food for Peace Program in the 1950s. As AFBF heads toward a new century of service to America’s farm and ranch families, Duvall said the organization will continue to be guided by the honorable principle that “farmers want to feed people.”

“Farm Bureau members throughout our history, and still today, have always answered the call to feed, fuel and defend our nation. I am grateful for this wonderful organization,” Duvall said. “Its founding 100 years ago was truly a breakthrough in American history. The founding fathers and mothers of our nation and of Farm Bureau were guided by a divine hand, a hand that still guides us today.”

On Monday, President Donald Trump will address the Farm Bureau meeting for the second year in a row during the closing general session.

Listen to Duvall’s address here:
AFBF19 President Zippy Duvall address to members

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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