A Roadmap Through American Lamb

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nafb-14-lambAmerican Lamb Board chairman, Dan Lippert, provided an update on the lamb industry and some programs they are promoting that help producers and consumers alike. We chatted during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk held in Kansas City, MO.

“The Roadmap was initiated because we saw some extreme volatility in the markets. Producers were concerned about longterm profitability. We attacked the industry to find out what we could do to produce a more consistent product for the producers of the lambs, the feeders, processors and also marketers.” The map includes resources for producers which includes a broader use of the National Sheep Improvement Program.

Dan said they are also looking at what their product looks like in the case. “That means a quality audit similar to what the beef industry has gone through in learning what the perceptions of our consumers are, what do they want, how does our product match that and then in what areas we can improve on.”

The American Lamb Board also has resources for the consumer when it comes to recipes and advice in cooking methods. Dan said all this info can be found on their website. A large portion of their product is also used in the food service industry. This leads them to educating chefs and marketers.

Learn more about the American lamb community in my complete interview with Dan: Interview with Dan Lippert, American Lamb Board

Find photos from the event here:
2014 NAFB Convention Photos

Ag Group, Audio, Lamb, NAFB, Sheep

Update on Animal Ag Programs from Trade Talk

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nafb-aaaChairman of the Board of Directors for the Animal Ag Alliance and current Executive Vice President of the US Poultry & Egg Association, Paul Pressley, spoke with me in the Alliance booth during the recent Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s annual meeting. He shared with me a few of the most recent programs they are working on to educate and bring awareness to consumers about the animal ag community.

Paul said in early 2015 we can expect the launch of their Farm Security mobile app, designed to help farmers and ranchers hire employees, stay up-to-date with current news clips, understand basic tips for crisis management and other information available at their finger tips.

Earlier this fall the Alliance partnered with the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, and North Carolina Pork Council to host their first ever #FarmtoPork Blogger Tour. The successful event took twelve bloggers on a farm to fork tour building a relationship with the entire pork industry.

The 2015 Stakeholders Summit will be held in the midwest this year. Mark you calendars for May 6-7 and book your flights for Kansas City, MO. “Journey to the Extraordinary,” is this year’s theme and Paul shared a little more on what that means. “As we look backwards over the past 50 years we have made phenomenal progress in animal agriculture and we know that progress will continue in the future.” Speakers for this event will discuss the upcoming landscape of animal ag and how we go forward.

The other programs discussed include awareness of their Meatless Monday media kit and this year’s College Aggies Online program. Listen to or download my complete interview with Paul here: Interview with Paul Pressley, Animal Ag Alliance

Find photos from the event here:
2014 NAFB Convention Photos

Ag Group, Animal Ag Alliance, NAFB

General Farm Groups Views on 2nd Beef Checkoff

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The two general farm organizations in the country have differing views about the proposal for a second beef checkoff.

nafb14-nfu-gouleChandler Goule with the National Farmers Union says they absolutely would like to get rid of the current 1985 beef check off and have a new one under the 1996 generic check off act. “If we would move to the ’96 act, it would be more flexible, it would be more cow-calf producer friendly,” he said. “We will do everything we can to write a good checkoff, but we can only have one checkoff running at the same time.”

Goule says people in the beef industry want reform. “That’s what NUF is working for,” he said. “That’s why we left the beef working group because we felt we were just being walked in a circle by organizations who don’t want to see change because they’re afraid they’re going to lose money.”Interview with Chandler Goule, NFU

nafb14-afbf-mooreAmerican Farm Bureau Federation says simply getting rid of the current checkoff and establishing a new one is complicated and their membership will be making a policy statement on the issue at the annual convention in January. “The Secretary can’t touch the ’85 act,” said Moore, who adds there are only two ways the act can be changed. “Producers hold a referendum, or Congress changing the law. That’s why the beef industry can’t just go to the Secretary and say they want an increase and have that conversation around the dollar.”

“The secretary’s action has pushed at least half of the Farm Bureau members states to add some new policy thinking that we’re going to be consider at convention,” Moore added. While that would come after the December 10 deadline to provide input on the way a second beef checkoff would be structured, Moore says once they have a real proposal to consider, they will have a clear policy direction. Interview with Dale Moore, AFBF

In their interviews from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention, Both Goule and Moore also comment on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), on which the organizations also hold different viewpoints.

AFBF, Audio, Beef Checkoff, NAFB, NFU

COOL Reform Calls for Congressional Action

John Davis Leave a Comment

Vital Force Technology Logo TMA group of food, ag and manufacturing representatives are calling on Congress to take action on the issue of the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law. The COOL Reform Coalition sent a letter to Congress, asking for immediate action to put together a contingency plan for the COOL law, which the group says, as it stands now, could cause other countries to retaliate.

On November 14, 2014, our concerns were underscored by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s statement that the COOL law does not provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the discretion necessary to change COOL requirements to ensure compliance with U.S. trade obligations…

The COOL Reform Coalition, co-chaired by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, does not oppose country of origin labeling requirements but believes that modifications to COOL are required to ensure its consistency with U.S. international trade obligations. On October 20, 2014, a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel released a report declaring that the U.S. COOL revised rule was non-compliant. The governments of Mexico and Canada, which brought the case to the WTO, would be authorized to retaliate against the U.S. by imposing tariffs on U.S. manufactured goods and agricultural products in the event of a final WTO adjudication on the matter, which is expected in the second half of 2015.

The coalition says the U.S. only needs a contigency plan should the WTO find us non-compliant with U.S. trade obligations.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Government, International

Men’s Health Awareness Campaign Embraced by Dairy

John Davis Leave a Comment

modairyThe dairy industry is embracing the MoDairy campaign – an effort to draw attention to men’s health. The effort draws on this month’s effort to get men to grow out their facial hair to help further the conversation on the importance of men’s health by having mustache photos posted throughout social media, including MoDairy’s Facebook page.

Why a mustache? The mustache serves as a talking point with the goal of encouraging dairy farmers to set up appointments for annual health screenings. With every mustache photo, the MoDairy coalition is donating $5, for up to 100 photos, to Movember USA. Steel Cow has generously donated a 20” x 20” canvas print to be awarded to the photo with the most likes at the end of November.

“One in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime – and dairy farmers are not spared from this statistic,” says Ed Peck, president of Filament Marketing and member of MoDairy. “However, awareness to early signs and symptoms might very well be more overlooked by farmers – often considered aches and pains of the business. It has been our goal this November to encourage dairy farmers to take control of their health, because, if detected early, prostate cancer has a high cure rate.”

MoDairy is encouraging parties, including free materials to spread the message available here.

Ag Group, Dairy

Alltech Holds Dairy School for Innovations

John Davis Leave a Comment

tomlorenzendairyschool1Attendees at the recent Alltech Dairy School were asked, “Are you in it to win it?” The gathering at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin drew more than 250 farmers, nutritionists and industry professionals to discuss innovations and investments every dairy should consider for a fruitful future.

While volatile milk prices and increased feed costs have caused many dairy producers to re-examine their playbooks and develop a new defense strategy, the 11th annual Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School, held Thursday, Nov. 13 in Green Bay, urged producers to consider working on their offense instead this year…

“You need to do your research. Don’t over think it. The more cows you have, the harder it gets,” [Jake Peissig, JTP Farms] said. “What are your goals? Tap all your resources and make sure you are dairying for the right reason.”

Jack Rodenburg, DairyLogix Canada, opened the main conference asking, “Do robotics have a place on your dairy?” Rodenburg foresees robotics greatly impacting the future of dairy production in the United States, as the technology can reduce labor and management time, improve productivity and lower costs, revitalize the family farm and offer a sustainable alternative to “bigger is always better.”

“In the future, we will be looking to robotics to reduce labor, improve productivity and narrow the gap between mega farms and 300-cow family run dairies,” Rodenburg said.

Other investments discussed at the dairy school included technologies that drive peak milk performance and tools to analyze feed content, among other highlights.

Agribusiness, Alltech, Dairy

Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Do you think the new coalition agreement addresses ag data privacy concerns?”

Time will tell if the big data coalition will ease the minds of concerned growers when it comes to privacy and security issues. However, the majority of those polled feel that the agreement addresses these ag data issues. We for sure will keep you posted.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes – 47%
  • No – 26%
  • Maybe – 7%
  • I don’t know – 20%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

In year’s past we have asked your favorite Thanksgiving protein. Does your family go for the traditional turkey or maybe a ham? Or do you have your own traditional meat of choice? This year in honor of Thanksgiving, we want to know your favorite side dish. Do you prefer dressing, mashed potatoes or do you love something different? At my family’s table gravy is a side all it’s own. It covers everything but the salad.


NMPF Comments on Immigration Policy

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nmpfThe National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) just released a statement on the White House Executive Action on immigration policy. NMPF President and CEO, Jim Mulhern said:

“The executive action announced by the White House this week will not solve the current or future needs of dairy farmers. We still need congressional action, in the form of comprehensive legislative reform of our broken immigration system. This is both an opportunity and an obligation for Congress. We need action in both the House and Senate, with support from both Republicans and Democrats, to do the job that needs to be done.

“NMPF’s focus remains the same going forward, as it has been in the past decade: we must secure a permanent fix to our broken immigration system – and that must be done by the Congress. “Regardless of the executive order announced by the White House, we must continue pressing for a long-term, meaningful solution that provides permanent relief for current workers and future labor needs. It is imperative that Congress address this issue in 2015 and resolve it, once and for all.”

Ag Group, Government, International, National Milk

Beef – Best Tasting Multivitamin

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nafb-cbbAs Executive Chef for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), Dave Zino doesn’t get to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen. The road is his home as he travels across the country educating consumers, food service operators and retailers how to merchandise and cook beef.

BeefItsWhatforDinner.com is home to the greatest resource for anyone who is simply seeking a beef recipe or researching the in’s and out’s of beef nutrients. “I like to call it the website that gives you all the know before you go. We have hundreds of recipes from steak, roasts, burgers to nutritional information on today’s lean beef. A tab on there called the Butcher Counter allows you to click on a cut and get recipe and cut information.”

Lean Matters is a publication the CBB has recently produced to share with consumers the research they have done about how nutritional lean beef is. Dave likes to call beef “natures best tasting multi-vitamin.”

Dave goes on to share other programs the beef checkoff is behind to inform consumers about the wholesome product being produced. A few of these include Easy Fresh Cooking and continuing to become more and more digital.

Listen to or download my complete interview with Dave here: Interview with Dave Zino, CBB

2014 NAFB Convention Photos

Ag Group, Audio, Beef, Beef Checkoff, Cattle, Food

2015 IPPE to be Biggest

John Davis Leave a Comment

IPPE1This year’s version of a major conference for the feed, meat and poultry industries will be the largest ever. Officials with the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) say the Jan. 27-29, 2015 meeting will take up more than 486,000 net square feet of exhibit space with more than 1,200 exhibitors at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We are pleased that more than 94 percent of the show floor has already been booked, including our expansion into Building C. This will be our largest trade show. We anticipate more than 28,000 attendees gathered in Atlanta to learn about the latest products and services offered for the feed, meat and poultry industries,” said Charlie Olentine, IPPE show manager.

The Expo will highlight the latest technology, equipment and services used in the production and processing of feed, meat and poultry products. The Expo will also feature dynamic education programs addressing current industry issues, combining the expertise from American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), American Meat Institute (AMI) and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY).

IPPE has its own app available through the Apple Store and Google Play so you can stay current on the information, education programs and activities planned for the coming expo.

Ag Group, IPPE, Meat, Poultry