Pig Farmers Make 55 Years of Sustainability Progress

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

Just in time for Earth Day, the National Pork Board has released a new study from the University of Arkansas confirming that “today’s pork is more earth-friendly than ever thanks to great progress in multiple key sustainability metrics over more than five decades.”

According to the new study, A Retrospective Assessment of U.S. Pork Production: 1960 to 2015, the inputs needed to produce a pound of pork in the United States have become more environmentally friendly over time. Specifically, 75.9% less land is needed, 25.1% less water and 7% less energy. This also has resulted in a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint (see infographic.)

To save as much water as today’s pig farms do over their predecessors of 50-plus years ago, the average American would have to take 90 fewer showers per year. Likewise, to understand the energy savings accomplished by pig farmers during the study period, a typical household would need to eliminate the use of a refrigerator altogether.

This new Pork Checkoff-funded study used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment approach with a field-to-farm gate approach, including material and energy flows associated with the full supply chain, beginning with extraction of raw materials through production of live, market-weight pigs, including marketed sows.

AgWired Animal, Food, Livestock, Pork, Pork Checkoff, sustainability

Animal Ag Bites 4/22

carrie muehling Leave a Comment

  • Vita Plus Loyal has selected a high school senior as a recipient of the 2019 “Our Future is Agriculture” scholarships. This year’s recipient of the Vita Plus Loyal scholarship is Katerina Kolzow of Colby High School.
  • The 68th annual National Breeders Roundtable agenda will include topics addressing Genomic Selection in Turkeys: Conceptual, Theoretical and Applied Aspects; Consumers Flocking Online: Social Media’s Impact on Poultry Breeding; An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Applications in Animal Breeding; Precision Feeding: Measuring and Modeling Feed Efficiency; Improving Accuracy of Genome Breeding Values Using a Selected Small Data Set; and more. Registration is now open for the conference, which will be held May 16 -17 at the Hilton St. Louis Airport hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. To view the agenda, register and reserve hotel rooms, visit www.uspoultry.org.
  • The Pork Checkoff has awarded 20 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s future human capital. This year’s top scholarship recipients are Jenna Chance and Jadelyn Stewart, who will receive a $5,000- and $3,500-scholarship, respectively.
  • The American Feed Industry Association announced that John Stewart, AFIA’s manager of government affairs for the past two years, will transition to the newly created role of director of membership and stakeholder engagement in early May.
  • The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) is proud to celebrate a decade of service to the animal food industry, conducting many high-priority research and education projects that protect the animal food industry’s license to operate and provide scientific-based information to decisionmakers and consumers so they can make informed policy and purchasing decisions.
  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the government of Tunisia and the United States have finalized U.S. export certificates to allow imports of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products into Tunisia.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council announced the launch of a campaign to celebrate the conservation success story of the gray wolf.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

2019 IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Announced

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The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) has announced the recipients of this year’s IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award. The program honors 10 young agricultural journalists and communicators who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in reporting as well as excellent potential as leaders of the industry in the years to come. The honorees were chosen by an international jury among applicants from many of IFAJ’s 50 member countries.

This year’s IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders are:

Prince Appiah, Multimedia Group, Ltd., Ghana
Moses Bailey, Radio Gbarnga/The Bush Chicken, Liberia
Kasey Brown, Angus Media, United States of America
Marzell Buffler, Landmedien Deutschland, Germany
Melissa Dahlqvist, Swedish Agro Machinery, Sweden
Seedy Darboe, Network of Ag Communicators, The Gambia
Louise Denvir, RTÉ, Ireland
Abi Kay, Farmers Guardian, United Kingdom
Samantha Tennent, Dairy NZ, New Zealand
Angus Verley, Australian Broadcasting Company, Australia

The 10 honorees will attend the 2019 IFAJ Congress in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, in July. The Young Leaders will also participate in a Boot Camp in the days prior to Congress, which includes professional development and networking workshops and farm visits in southern Minnesota.

AgWired Animal, Alltech, IFAJ

Egg Prices Down for Easter

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

About 180 million eggs are purchased each year in the United States for Easter, and this year they are a little less pricey than normal.

According to an American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) analysis, the typical seasonal bump in retail egg prices that normally occurs just prior to Easter did not not happen this year because an increase in the supply of eggs has placed downward pressure on retail prices.

“At 79 cents per dozen, retail egg prices showed a moderate price decline two weeks prior to Easter, rather than the normal seasonal bump,” explained AFBF Economist Michael Nepveux. In March, wholesale large egg prices averaged 93 cents per dozen, a 56 percent decline compared to a year ago.

The current supply of eggs is more than adequate to meet retail demand for the holidays, Nepveux noted.

In March 2019, wholesale egg prices averaged 93.02 cents/dzn. This is a decline of 56 percent from 2018, but an increase of 38 percent from 2017.

Read the AFBF Market Intel update.

AFBF, AgWired Animal, Eggs, Food

Professional Agri-Marketers Honored

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The three highest individual awards from the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) were presented last week at the annual Agri-Marketing Conference.

Congratulations to Lynn Huston, John Deere Financial, who was named Agribusiness Leader of the Year. This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, recognizes outstanding leadership in private, public or academic service and is conferred each year to a senior agribusiness executive who not only exemplifies excellence in agribusiness, but has also made significant contributions to the industry. Huston has been a key contributor to the John Deere Financial team for the past 22 years. During this time, Huston focused on highlighting women in agriculture and the critical role they play in farm operations and in shaping the industry as a whole.

Listen to her remarks here:
NAMA19 Agribusiness Leader Lynn Huston, John Deere Financial

Dean Broadhead of broadhead was named NAMA Marketer of the Year. This award is sponsored by Agri-Marketing magazine. This recognition is the most prestigious honor awarded to an active member of the association and recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the field of agri-marketing. Dean founded broadhead with a unique goal to connect urban and rural. Over the 18 years broadhead has been in business, the agency has been able to work in many different sectors of agriculture and work to bridge the gap between rural and urban audiences.

Listen to Dean’s remarks here:
NAMA19 Marketer award Dean Broadhead

Congratulations to American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvallfor the Ag Association Leader award. Duvall has been president of AFBF since January 2016 after serving for nine years as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau. While he was unable to attend the NAMA conference last week in person, Duvall sent a video message thanking NAMA for the honor.

NAMA19 Ag Association award Zippy Duvall, AFBF

2019 National Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album

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Animal Ag Bites 4/15

carrie muehling Leave a Comment

  • Nominations for the 13th annual National Beef Quality Assurance Awards are now being accepted. Deadline for nominations is June 7, 2019.
  • The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers have released an updated economic impact study that highlights the positive impact the poultry industry has on jobs, wages, and federal and state revenue in the United States. A dynamic and integral part of the national economy, the U.S. poultry industry provides 1,984,784 jobs, $108.9 billion in wages, $495.1 billion in economic activity and $38.5 billion in government revenue. Since the last study conducted in 2016, the poultry industry has created 302,515 additional jobs, and the economic impact has increased by 11 percent.
  • Federal lands ranchers from across the West attended the 2019 Public Lands Council Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The event was a platform for official association business and featured updates from congressional and agency officials.
  • Harris Farms, Inc. Owner John Harris and Central Valley Meat Company, Inc. President and CEO Brian Coelho announced that Central Valley Meat Holding Company will acquire Harris Ranch Beef Holding Company, including its wholly owned subsidiaries, Harris Feeding Company and Harris Ranch Beef Company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • BoVantage from Kent Nutrition Group has a new name: NutriVantage® for beef. NutriVantage is a Nutrition Optimizer®, an exclusive feed supplement that is a unique blend of natural ingredients, vitamins and minerals that impact cattle performance at every stage and help to increase dry matter intake up to 10 percent.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

Pork Producers Talk Trade and Animal Disease

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National Pork Producers Council officials held a press conference Thursday, the day after announcing World Pork Expo is cancelled this year due to concerns about African swine fever.

More than 100 pork producers from around the country were in Washington D.C. this week for the Spring Legislative Action Conference to meet with their representatives in Congress to discuss issues such as trade, animal disease preparedness and agriculture’s labor shortage.

“Prevention is our best defense against an animal disease like African swine fever for which no vaccine exists,” said NPPC president David Herring of North Carolina. “For a disease like Foot-and-Mouth disease, which would also close U.S. pork’s export markets, prevention is also critical. Should an outbreak occur, a vaccine bank will allow us to quickly contain the disease.”

Producers also discussed two solutions to mitigate the risk of animal disease in the United States: 1) appropriations funding for 600 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspectors to further strengthen defenses against African swine fever (ASF) and other animal diseases and 2) to sign a letter of support that calls for the USDA to implement the Farm Bill as intended, including development of a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank.

Here is the first part of the press conference with Herring and other NPPC representatives:
NPPC press conference 4-11-19

AgWired Animal, Audio, NPPC, Pork

2019 World Pork Expo Cancelled

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The threat of African swine fever is forcing the cancellation of the world’s largest pork industry-specific trade show this year.

The National Pork Producers Council‘s board of directors today announced its decision to cancel World Pork Expo 2019 out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions. African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

“While an evaluation by veterinarians and other third-party experts concluded negligible risk associated with holding the event, we have decided to exercise extreme caution,” said David Herring, NPPC president and a producer from Lillington, North Carolina. “The health of the U.S. swine herd is paramount; the livelihoods of our producers depend on it. Prevention is our only defense against ASF and NPPC will continue to do all it can to prevent its spread to the United States.”

The decision to cancel this year’s World Pork Expo comes as more than 100 U.S pork producers gather in Washington this week to meet with their members of Congress during NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference. To augment the USDA’s efforts to protect the United States from ASF and other animal diseases, U.S. pork producers are asking Congress to appropriate funding for 600 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspectors to further strengthen our defenses against African swine fever.

AgWired Animal, NPPC, Swine, World Pork Expo

Animal Ag Bites 4/8

carrie muehling

  • Ralco announced the promotion of Dr. Russell Fent to Director of Swine Technical Group.
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation are accepting nominations for the Charles Beard Research Excellence Award through July 1. The goal of the award is to recognize outstanding completed research projects, funded by USPOULTRY or the USPOULTRY Foundation, which have made a significant positive impact on the poultry industry.
  • Kansas State University will be the first U.S. host of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Meeting Sept. 9-13. The U.N. organization’s annual meeting gathers leaders from government, NGOs, academia and industry to discuss innovative approaches to sustainable livestock production.
  • The global regional finalists have been selected for the 2019 Alltech Young Scientist competition, the world’s largest agriscience competition for university students. Graduate students from colleges and universities around the world whose studies focus on agriculture and science will compete at the highest level for a chance to win $10,000 and gain access to innovative scientists from around the world. Now in its 14th year, the competition has received entrants from a total of 120 universities and 40 countries.
  • After 20-plus years as a premier cattle scientist and administrator, John Arthington has been appointed chair of animal sciences at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco-based waste and energy development company, recently launched a biogas project in Yakima County, Washington, that will convert 150,000 gallons per day of dairy waste from up to 7,000 cows into 160,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas – the equivalent of 1.4 million gallons of gasoline – and other products each year.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

Study Finds Lamb Checkoff Has Positive ROI

cindy zimmerman

U.S. lamb producers have received a positive return on investment from the American Lamb Checkoff Program since it started in 2002, according to a new Texas A&M University report.

The study prepared by agricultural economists Gary Williams, Ph.D., and Dan Hanselka concluded that the American Lamb Checkoff Program added 2.4% to 2.7% of the annual value of retail lamb. The study measures 2002 to 2018, the time period during which the American Lamb Board (ALB) has been conducting programs. This new study has similar results compared to five years ago, when the last study was released.

Another measure of checkoff program contribution to the industry is the cost-to-benefit ratio. The Texas A&M study reported that the average return to industry stakeholders for every $1 invested into the American Lamb Checkoff Program is approximately $14.20.

“These results are a win for every member of the American lamb industry,” says ALB Chairman Dale Thorne, a Michigan lamb producer and feeder. “The purpose of our checkoff is to increase demand for American Lamb and enhance opportunities for all segments to profit. This extensive analysis tells us that we remain on the right track with our promotion programs.”

The American Lamb Checkoff Program’s promotion program is about $1.5 million a year, with another $0.5 million invested in education and research programs. Administration costs must be less than 10 percent of yearly collections.

AgWired Animal, Lamb, Meat