Cast Your Vote for Rev It Up Checkoff Challenge

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 3.11.32 PMThe Beef Checkoff hosted the “Rev it Up My ROI Checkoff Challenge” to give producers an opportunity to share stories about checkoff success. The Rev it Up finalists have submitted their videos, each one sharing one thing about how the checkoff has brought the most value to their operations.

Now it’s time to cast your vote on the My Beef Checkoff Facebook page from June 1, 2015 through midnight Sunday, June 7. The winner will drive away in a donated Yamaha Viking EPS 4×4 valued at nearly $22,000!

“During the contest, did you as producers ever come through, with great comments and real-world proof that beef producers are responsible stewards of land and livestock. You are truly dedicated to providing a safe and nutritious product,” says Brenda Black, cow-calf producer from Deepwater, Mo., and member of the checkoff’s Producer Communications Working Group. “You’ll want to take time to watch the finalist’s videos! It’s a great opportunity to learn more about your fellow cattlemen and women, something you may or may not have known about your checkoff, then share the good news with your friends and neighbors.”

Ag Group, Beef, Beef Checkoff, contest

Farm Bureau Asks Congress to Repeal COOL

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farm bureauThe American Farm Bureau Federation announced support for efforts in Congress to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), which forces food distributors to label beef, chicken and pork products as to their country of origin.

The request comes on the heels of a World Trade Organization ruling that grants Canada and Mexico the right to retaliate against the United States if it fails to stop the program by mid-November.

“While we were hopeful that WTO would have found COOL to be legal, it is now clear that we are far better off with no mandatory labeling for beef, pork and chicken, which should end threats of retaliation by our two closest trading partners,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

The House Agriculture Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas), last week passed a bill to remove the language from current law. A vote by the full House could happen within days.

“We are pleased the House Agriculture Committee has moved to repeal country of origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken, and we ask the full House to do likewise,” Stallman said. “Whatever benefits labeling brought farmers and ranchers, the WTO ruled that the process of separating the herds was too cumbersome to permit free trade. Canada and Mexico could retaliate with $2 billion in tariffs against U.S. food if we don’t stop the labeling program.”

AFBF, Ag Group, Beef, Chicken, COOL, Farm Bureau, Pork

Officials Say Final WOTUS Rule Respects Agriculture

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

epa-army-corpsThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wednesday released the final version of the Clean Water Rule that has become known as the Waters of the United States or WOTUS which they say protects clean water “while respecting agriculture.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy released an editorial commentary to farmers and ranchers explaining what they did in the final rule. “Feedback from the agricultural community led us to define tributaries more clearly,” they write. “We also got feedback that our proposed definition of ditches was confusing. We’re only interested in the ones that act like tributaries and could carry pollution downstream—so we changed the definition in the final rule to focus on tributaries.”

Regarding regulation of ditches, the rule “limits protection to ditches that are constructed out of streams or function like streams and can carry pollution downstream.” During a press conference outlining the new rule, Darcy said, “Only ditches that look, act and function like a tributary are covered.”

McCarthy stressed several times that the final rule includes no new permitting requirements and maintains all previous exemptions. “The rule does not add any requirements for agriculture and it maintains all the decade-long exemptions and exclusions for farming and forestry,” said the EPA chief, who named off several other things the rule does not do. “These are all important points that we have made crystal clear.”

Listen to McCarthy and Darcy announced the final rule here: Final WOTUS rule announcement

Audio, environment, Government, Water

Alltech Tackles Antimicrobials in Livestock

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

rebelation15-172Dr. Karl Dawson, Chief Scientific Officer and VP at Alltech, talked antibiotics at the recent REBELation in the beef breakout session. Companies like McDonald’s and Costco have said no to antibiotics. Is it time for the industry to be a REBEL and say no too?

“The term antibiotic is somewhat controversial. I prefer to talk about antimicrobials. The use of antimicrobials has been around in livestock since the 1940’s. It is something we have used to address diseases, cure bacterial infections, but the most controversial part of that has been to use them as materials to enhance growth in livestock.”

“The big concern about using those right now has been the progressive change or selection of bacteria that resist the antimicrobial.” Dr. Dawson said that the thought process behind this is we are propitiating it by continuing to use antimicrobials in livestock. He added that we should have known this we going to happen years ago and the banning of antimicrobials will change the industry because they have been relied upon for so long.

There are alternatives. But there isn’t a one-size fits all package to replace them. “It is going to be a thought process; a management process that will need to take place.” Dr. Dawson also stated that a simple ban may not be the answer to our problems. “The antibiotic resistance bacteria that are out there have been selected for and we will not eliminate those by simply stopping the use today.”

In the long-term, he said the industry needs to look at strategies that not only limit the development, but also depress antibiotic resistant bacteria and select against them.

Listen to my complete interview with Dr. Dawson to learn more about antimicrobials here: Interview with Dr. Karl Dawson, Alltech

Don’t forget to check out photos from the event here: 2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Audio, Beef, Cattle, Livestock

NCBA: EPA Writes off Rural America

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-200The Environmental Protection Agency finalized its “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) proposed rule, which unilaterally strips private property rights and adds hundreds of thousands of stream miles and acres of land to federal jurisdiction. In the Clean Water Act, they added language to the law that leaves regulation up to the subjectivity of individual regulators across the country.

By law, the EPA must read and consider all comments submitted on the proposed rule, but only six months after receiving over one million public comments on the proposal, EPA has finalized the rule. Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president, said this is a clear indication there is no intention of considering the concerns of those most impacted by the rule.

Not only did the EPA write the proposal expanding the reach of the Clean Water Act without input from agriculture, the Agency implemented their own grassroots lobbying campaign to drown out the concerns of private property owners. The tax-payer funded campaign was promoted through social media channels and called for people to share EPA’s oversimplified and misleading talking points.

“The former Obama campaign officials that received political appointments at EPA are apparently putting their activist knowledge base to use,” said Ellis. “Soliciting endorsements and support is a far cry from simply educating the public, as EPA officials claim.”

The Agency even went a step further during a press conference when Administrator McCarthy called the concerns of cattlemen “ludicrous”. This doesn’t sound like an Agency interested in rural America at all. It’s an Agency with an agenda.

In fact, the EPA used maps of waters and wetlands throughout the country that detailed the extent of their proposal, but it wasn’t until the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology was doing research in preparation for a hearing that the maps were discovered. The taxpayer funded maps, presumably kept hidden for years, painted an “astonishing picture” of what EPA intended to regulate, as Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) explained.

Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, environment, EPA, NCBA, Water

13th Annual Leading Dairy Producer Conference

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

PurinaDairy_LDPC_Press Release Photo2_012615More than 550 dairy farmers, family members and industry representatives attended the Leading Dairy Producer Conference hosted by Purina Animal Nutrition and Land O’Lakes.

“Dairies are in the business of making money, not milk,” said Greg Bethard, Ph.D., and chief financial officer for Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, Dairy Dreams, and Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese located in Kewaunee, Wis. “That means they need to focus on margins, not ratios.”

During his financial session Bethard stressed the importance of calculating income over feed costs, and analyzing a profit and loss statement on an annual basis. He also warned attendees of the dangers of benchmarking and focusing on outdated metrics like pounds of milk per cow.

In addition to the financial session, Dr. Joel Pankowski, manager of field technical services for Arm and Hammer Animal Nutrition discussed essential fatty acids and their impact on immune function and reproductive performance.

Recommendations for growing healthy calves were provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Dr. Amy Stanton. Insights about colostrum management, group housing and disease detection and monitoring were shared with attendees.

Outside of the educational sessions, calves from a Full Potential feeding demonstration were on display. Calves on display were raised with Cow’s Match® Seasonal Protein Blend Calf Milk Replacer at 2.5 pounds per day from day 1 through week 8, AMPLI-Calf® Seasonal Starter Feed, 22 percent, free choice from day 3 through week 12 and AMPLI-Calf® Grower Feed at 10 pounds per day from week 13 through week 24. Average daily gain from birth to 12 weeks for the two calves displayed was 2.08 and 2.36 pounds per day, respectively.

For the first time, 12 college students from three Wisconsin universities were also invited to the event. The students had the unique opportunity to learn about Purina Animal Nutrition and Land O’Lakes, while networking with employees and also learning about jobs and internships.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Calves, Dairy, Feed, Nutrition

Algae – Alltech’s Answer to Fish Oil Shortage

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

rebelation15-98-editedIt is hard to find a more diverse company than Alltech. At their recent REBELation, breakout sessions covered topics from digital media to aquaculture. Headlining discussion on algae was, Becky Timmons, Director for Applications Research and Quality Assurance for Alltech Algae. She started with Alltech 30 years ago and also has a very diversified background. She has been everything from a lab technician to head of the flavor and now into the world algae.

rebelation15-5-editedBecky quoted Rick Barrows, USDA, who said finding a replacement for fish oil would be like the ‘holy grail’ for the aquaculture industry. “In our bid to feed more people a high quality protein and as we have a growing population, everyone is expecting the aquaculture industry to really grow.”

She explained that there is a stagnant amount of fish oil available, about 1 million tons. Consumption is right at the amount as well. If aquaculture needs to grew, so does the production of fish oil. The human population is also consuming more fish oil than every before.

Alltech has the answer. “We are producing an algae that is about 70% fat and very high in DHA. We have done work in both trials and commercial to show that we can successfully replace the fish oil. The fish eat it very well and you actually see nutritional benefits to the fish. And that fillet quality is still just as good, preferred in sensory testing and has the healthy fatty acid profile that we need.”

Trials have shown that this method is cost-effective for producer and consumer and Becky believes we are going to see a great shift of algae use soon. Listen to my complete interview with Becky to learn more about Alltech’s algae production here: Interview with Becky Timmons, Alltech Algae

Don’t forget to check out photos from the event here: 2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Algae, Alltech, Aquaculture, Fish, Nutrition

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • Jessica Johnston joined the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) staff as the Communications Coordinator at the office headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Johnston comes to IBBA from Texas A&M University where she recently received her master’s degree in agricultural leadership, education and communications.
  • MetaFarms’ Board of Directors announced that Dr. Tom Stein has resigned as Executive Chairman and Chief Innovations Officer and as a member of the Board effective Friday, May 15, 2015. Dr. Stein co-founded MetaFarms in 2000 with Tony Christianson, Managing Partner, Cherry Tree in Minneapolis.
  • World Dairy Expo has announced the addition of Kayla Sonnenburg, Sales Coordinator, to its staff. She will assist with all aspects of sponsorship and trade show management for Expo and the Dane County Fair, oversee signage construction and placement, manage the sponsorship recognition program and assist with event layout and design for managed events.
  • Kevin Johansen joined the staff of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) as the manager of membership. He started on May 18. MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering said Johansen understands the beef cattle business and the farmers and ranchers who make up the industry in the state. “We are excited to have Kevin on board. He is unwavering in his commitment to the cattle farmers and ranchers in Missouri.”
  • The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) has announced that Danielle Lindquist of Cary, N.C., is their 2015 scholarship recipient. A strong passion for the dairy calf and heifer industry is one of the many reasons Danielle was chosen for the annual $1,000 scholarship.
Animal Bites

Nutrinsic Opens 1st US ProFloc Facility

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

9L4U3180Nutrinsic has opened a sustainable protein production facility co-located at MillerCoors LLC at their brewery’s Water Reclamation Facility in Trenton, Ohio. Nutrinsic provides commercial nutrition solutions through the upcycling of unused nutrients. They work with food and beverage processors in delivering clean water to the environment and eliminating the need to dispose of waste. This process creates an environmentally and economically sustainable source of premium protein for animal nutrition.

The facility has a nameplate capacity of 5,000 tons per year of ProFloc, a high quality, protein ingredient for use in fish and animal nutrition. ProFloc(tm) is produced using patented technology, which upcycles nutrients that would otherwise be undervalued or lost, making it a sustainable and earth-friendly protein source for all types of aquatic and terrestrial animal feeds.

“MillerCoors cares deeply about sustainability in all aspects of the brewing process, and believes waste is a resource out of place,” said Denise Quinn, MillerCoors Trenton Brewery Vice President. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with Nutrinsic, to turn what was previously a waste stream into something of value.”

MillerCoors Trenton Brewery has been landfill-free since 2009, meaning it reuses or recycles the majority of its waste and sends less than one percent to a landfill. Nutrinsic will work with the Trenton Brewery to turn waste from its water reclamation center into a protein source for animal feed.

Agribusiness, Feed, Nutrition

Peterson Bros Taking Care of Livestock

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Brand new from the Peterson Brothers, with help from Culver’s, is a parody of one of our favorite classic rock tunes – “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive – telling how livestock producers take care of their business.

Watch it, like it, share it. These videos are not just entertainment, they tell people how their food is produced and why farmers do what they do. Thanks, Peterson Bros!

The video includes photos of real livestock producers from around the country and the world. The brothers got so many photos they couldn’t put them all in one video so they made a second one for “honorable mention” photos!

Livestock, Video