Milk Producers Welcome New Coop, Board Members

John Davis Leave a Comment

nmpfFour new dairy cooperatives are joining as members of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), along with two new board members and one new board officer for the group. The announcement came as NMPF wrapped up its 2014 annual meeting.

The new cooperative members are Bongards’ Creameries, Norwood, Minnesota; Cortland Bulk Milk Producers Cooperative, Cortland, New York; Mount Joy Farmers Cooperative Association, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, and Oneida-Madison Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Sherrill, New York.

These new members bring the number of dairy cooperatives in NMPF to 31. NMPF members market the majority of the milk produced in the United States, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.

The two new NMPF board members are Michael Doyle, president and CEO of Foremost Farms USA in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and Scot Meyer, board member of Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Ellsworth, Wisconsin. In addition, board member Keith Murfield, CEO of United Dairymen of Arizona, was elected to serve as secretary of the organization.

NMPF also recognized six outgoing board members for their service to the organization. Those receiving certificates of appreciation were William Blalock, Cooperative Milk Producers Association; Albert Knegendorf, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery; Dennis Donohue, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative; David Newhouse, Farmers Cooperative Creamery; Dave Fuhrmann, Foremost Farms USA; and Donald DeJong, Select Milk Producers. NMPF also presented its Political Action Committee Award to board member Dan Senestraro of Dairy Farmers of America.

Dairy, Dairy Group, National Milk

Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline Extended

John Davis Leave a Comment

USDA_logoDairy producers will have a little more time to enroll in a program that bridges the possible financial gaps when milk prices drop below production costs. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the extension to Dec. 5, 2014 for farmers to sign up for the Dairy Margin Protection Program during his speech at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting.

“We want dairy producers to have enough time to make thoughtful and well-studied choices,” said Vilsack. “Markets change and the Margin Protection Program can help protect dairy producers from those changes.”

Vilsack encouraged producers to use the online Web resource at to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. “Historical scenarios also can be explored to see how the Margin Protection Program would function should poor market conditions occur again in the future,” said Vilsack. The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also extended the opportunity for public comments on both the Margin Protection Program and the Dairy Product Donation Program until Dec. 15, 2014.

“USDA is committed to creating strong opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. When dairy producers bring new family members into the business, these changes could affect safety net coverage,” said Vilsack. “If our current rules hinder intergenerational changes or if improvements are needed in these programs, then we want to hear from dairy producers.”

Comments can be submitted to USDA via the website at

Dairy, Government, usda

Alltech Founder to Receive 2014 Henry Clay Medallion

John Davis Leave a Comment

alltech-p-lyonsThe founder of a company that improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation will be honored with an award that recognizes individuals of exceptional merit. Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, will receive the 2014 Henry Clay Medallion for Distinguished Service.

The Henry Clay Medallion recognizes, honors and celebrates individuals of exceptional merit who share characteristics of the life and work of the great Kentucky statesman, Henry Clay. Senators, Speakers of the House, royalty and business visionaries are among the list of distinguished past recipients.

Lyons was selected for his accomplishments within Kentucky as well as for bringing the best of Kentucky to the attention of people throughout the United States and around the world. Lyons founded Alltech in Kentucky in 1980 with $10,000, and it is now a $1 billion company operating in 128 countries with more than 3,500 employees.

Wherever his frequent travels take him, Lyons brings along Kentucky, promoting the region as an ideal place to live, visit and do business. His enthusiasm for the state extends to a number of community and education-focused initiatives, such as the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, which annually awards more than a half-million dollars in University of Kentucky Opera Theatre scholarships; a commitment with his wife, Deirdre Lyons, the director of Alltech’s corporate image and design, to construct at least one Kentucky primary school laboratory each year; and an annual Innovation Competition that sets Kentucky university business teams against one another to promote economic growth within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Check out Chuck’s conversation with Lyons during this year’s annual Alltech Symposium.


DMI Announces Partnerships for Fluid Milk Innovation

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) today announced seven new partnerships to “ignite fluid milk innovation.”

Mike Saint John of Coca Cola North America's Minute Maid Business; United Dairy Industry Association chairman Neil Hoff; Barbara O'Brien and Tom Gallagher with  DMI; and DMI chair Paul Rovey toast new partnership

Mike Saint John of Coca Cola North America’s Minute Maid Business; United Dairy Industry Association chairman Neil Hoff; Barbara O’Brien and Tom Gallagher with DMI; and DMI chair Paul Rovey toast new partnership

According to DMI, the objective of the partnerships is to meet the growing demands of both foreign and U.S. consumers. The seven partners, supported by DMI which represents America’s dairy farm families and importers, are “committing an unprecedented investment to unlock innovation and put milk back in the center of the rapidly growing health and wellness beverage market.”

The seven partners from across the supply chain include Dairy Farmers of America (DFA); Darigold/Northwest Dairy Association; The Kroger Company; Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc.; Shamrock Farms; Southeast Milk, Inc and The Coca-Cola Company – all working aggressively to pursue growth opportunities for fluid milk through infrastructure, capital, human resource and marketing investments.

“These dairy partners are making an unprecedented investment over the next few years – more than half a billion dollars in capital and other resources,” said Tom Gallagher, CEO of DMI. “With our check-off resources and dedication to fluid milk innovation, we’re excited to see how unique partnerships will help us drive ingenuity and generate new offerings and sales in the fluid milk category.”

“As a farmer, I am proud to see to see farmer-led organizations and other leaders committed to revitalizing fluid milk,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy farmer, chairman of DMI and chairman of United Dairymen of Arizona, a regional dairy cooperative.

Gallagher and Rovey participated in a telephone press conference this afternoon to talk about the new partnerships. DMI Announces New Partnerships

Audio, Dairy, Dairy Checkoff, Milk, Promotion

ZimmPoll Results in on WTO COOL Ruling

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What should US do about WTO COOL ruling?”

The industry has reacted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) decision against the United States on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law since the announcement was made earlier this week. Some feel the issue can be handled by USDA, others feel Congress should take charge. But it looks like an overwhelming majority of those who took our poll feel we should appeal and do nothing.

Here are the poll results:

  • Appeal and do nothing – 83%
  • Congress should change – 4%
  • USDA should amend again – 3%
  • Should be repealed – 6%
  • Don’t know – 4%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, Where are the best future jobs in ag?

This week thousands of FFA members from across the country have flooded the streets of Louisville, KY for the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo. The future of agriculture is in the hands of these young people who are passionate about the agriculture community. The number and variety of careers in agriculture continues to grow. This week we want to know what field of study are the best future jobs in agriculture.


Purina Updates Premium Poultry Feed

John Davis Leave a Comment

purina1One of poultry producers most reliable feeds has just been made better. Purina Animal Nutrition has updated its proven formula of Purina® Layena® Premium Poultry Feed, formulated to support hen immune health and support egg quality and available in both pellets and crumbles.

“Hens require additional, specific nutrients when they begin laying eggs,” says Gordon Ballam, Ph.D., director of lifestyle innovation and technical services for Purina Animal Nutrition. “We look to our own backyard flock to fine-tune feeds that work best in the backyard poultry environments that are growing in popularity.

“Layena® Premium Poultry Feed includes the high-quality ingredients laying hens require, because we know what you feed your hens impacts the quality of eggs you feed your family,” Ballam adds.

New Purina® Layena® Premium Poultry Feed includes:

· Prebiotics, probiotics and yeast to support immune health

· Freshly-ground North American grains with simple ingredients you can trust

· A balance of vitamins and minerals to support shell strength and egg nutrition levels

Purina officials say you should start feeding the new Layena® Premium Poultry Feed to hens when they begin laying eggs between 18 and 20 weeks of age.

Eggs, Feed, Poultry

Feds Told Don’t Drown Land Owners in Regulatory Flood

John Davis Leave a Comment

Two groups that represent the interests of a large portion of rural land owners and users has a message for the federal government: Don’t drown land owners in a regulatory flood! The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council filed comments calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed “waters of the United States” rule, a proposal that would vastly expands the government’s jurisdiction and attempts to regulate all land uses.

ncba-logo“The agencies’ proposal jeopardizes private property rights and violates Supreme Court precedent by subjecting nearly all waters to regulation,” said NCBA Environmental Counsel Ashley McDonald. “Through the use of broad and ambiguous language, the proposal is a limitless expansion of authority that cannot be supported by the Clean Water Act or the U.S. Constitution.”

In the eight months the proposal has been public, cattlemen and women have voiced their concerns only to have them deemed “ludicrous” by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. NCBA and PLC state the agencies must start over with a transparent and inclusive process with more stakeholder involvement.

plcDustin Van Liew, Public Lands Council executive director, added that while there is a need for clarification, this attempt by the EPA and the Corps will only add layers of bureaucracy and subjectivity to the Clean Water Act, further muddling the landscape.

“The proposed rule places no limit on the federal government’s authority over water, violating the Clean Water Act as articulated by the Supreme Court, and will eviscerate over a century of settled water law in much of the country,” said Van Liew. “Contrary to the agencies’ claims, the exclusions and exemptions in the proposal are unclear and provide the livestock industry no certainty.”

Livestock producers and rural landowners are being encouraged to get their public comments in while they can by sending the original and three copies of the comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

EPA, Government, NCBA, usda, Water

Calibrate Shows How to Reduce New Corn Silage Slump

John Davis Leave a Comment

calibrate1A new test could help cattle producers reduce a phenomenum called new corn silage slump. Calibrate® Technologies has a new testing system that keep cows’ production on track shows by showing producers corn silage starch and fiber digestibility factors.

Corn silage is highly variable, says Dr. David Weakley, director of dairy forage research for Calibrate® Technologies. Crude starch, rumen degradable starch, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and NDF digestibility can vary from year to year, from field to field and hybrid to hybrid.

Results from a sampling program in Texas show just how variable things can be. “We tested 300 fresh cut corn silage samples from a handful of Texas producers,” says Dr. Weakley. “Samples were taken from 12 different corn silage hybrids. Results showed crude starch varied from 22.8 percent to 46.1 percent. NDF ranged from 30 percent to 67.6 percent.” Calibrate’s rapid NIR test was used to determine digestibility values for those 300 corn silage samples.

The results in Texas are similar to what is seen every year across the country in corn silage samples. Corn silage contains a lot of variation; not only at harvest, but it continues to change during ensiling until fed to the cows, explains Dr. Weakley. The longer corn silage is ensiled the more digestible the starch becomes. “That means by the time spring rolls around, if you haven’t adjusted the ration to account for the increase in starch availability in the corn silage, cow performance can suffer,” he says. “Generally, when starch availability climbs above optimal levels in the diet; the butterfat content of milk drops.”

Calibrate officials suggest testing for rumen digestibility of starch and fiber every two weeks. NDF digestibility provides insight into rumen fill, how quickly feedstuffs pass through the rumen and dry matter intake; all of which are helpful information to minimize variation in the cows’ diet and subsequent performance.

Cattle, corn, Silage

Summit to Focus on Sustainability in Animal Ag

John Davis Leave a Comment

IPPElogoThe next Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit will ask the questions, “What is sustainability, and why do we need it?” This is the seventh annual edition of the summit that runs during the first day of the 2015 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 27-29, 2015, bringing in industry and agriculture experts on sustainability who explain why it matters to the animal agriculture industry, as well as how to communicate efforts to consumers, suppliers and industry stakeholders.

This year’s Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit will include a presentation by Dr. Marty Matlock, professor, Department of Biological and Agriculture Engineering, University of Arkansas, on Sustainable Agriculture – What Is It and Why Do We Need It? Dr. Hongwei Xin, professor, Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, will review Advancements of the U.S. Egg Industry Over the Past 50 Years. Jamie Burr, environmental stewardship manager, Tyson Foods, will discuss the National Pork Board’s Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calendar – Lessons Learned. The Summit will conclude with a ceremony to recognize and present honors to winners of USPOULTRY’s 2015 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award.

IPPE is the world’s largest annual poultry, feed and meat industry trade show. For more information and to register to attend IPPE, go to

Ag Group, Agribusiness, IPPE

Meredith Joins NMPF

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Emily MeredithIn another development involving the National Dairy FARM program, Emily Metz Meredith, vice president of communications and membership for the Animal Agriculture Alliance, will join NMPF next month as vice president of animal care. She replaces Betsy Flores, who left in mid-October for a position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Meredith, a lawyer, will have primary responsibility for the FARM program. NMPF President Mulhern said, “With her strong livestock agriculture background, Emily is well equipped to take the FARM program forward, building support among dairy producers while also educating processors, retailers, food service, media and others. She has been a strong proponent in her career for dairy farmers, and we look forward to her bringing her advocacy skill set to our organization.”

Before joining the Animal Agriculture Alliance, Meredith was a litigation assistant in the New York Attorney General’s office. She also served a speechwriter at the Department of Agriculture.

Meredith was recently named one of “40 under 40 in Agriculture” by Vance Publishing Co., publisher of Dairy Herd Management and other agri-business publications. In addition, she was named a “Rising Star” by PR News, a leading newsletter for communications professionals.

A Wisconsin native, Meredith has a degree in mass communications and international affairs from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her law degree is from Seton Hall University Law School in New York.

Ag Group, Company Announcement, Dairy, National Milk