John Deere and Pheasants Forever Working Together

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A new partnership between John Deere and Pheasants Forever will promote conservation on the farm.

“John Deere and Pheasants Forever just announced a new joint effort that will improve wildlife habitat across the country and provide discounts on select models of new John Deere equipment to Pheasants Forever members,” said Lyle McMillan, tractor marketing manager for John Deere.

McMillan said John Deere will now become the “Official Habitat Tractor” for Pheasants Forever and the company also plans to sponsor a Conservation Farmer of the Year award to promote conservation practices. John Deere will also host workshops on how to maximize those returns on investment for every acre on the farm. McMillan was at the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk event in Kansas City, where he also shared information about new features added to existing models this year including technology updates to 5R and 6R Series tractors.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Lyle here: Interview with Lyle McMillan, John Deere

2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention Photo Album

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Animal Ag Bites 11/12

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  • Zoetis has announced a new data and testing agreement with Leachman Cattle of Colorado to provide a unique genomically enhanced genetic evaluation.
  • The incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses within the poultry sector’s slaughter and processing workforce has fallen by 83 percent over the last 20 years and continues to decline according to the 2017 Injury and Illness Report recently released by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Finalists for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) National Anthem Contest, sponsored by Norbrook, and the NCBA Cowboy Poetry Contest, sponsored by IMI Global, have been selected. Public voting for winners will run through Dec. 4, 2018. Winners will be announced Dec. 5. To view finalists and cast your vote (one vote per location per day), or to register for the convention, go to
  • National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition Chair, Ethan Lane, released a statement in response to the injunction to halt research exploring surgical sterilization of horses and burros on federal land: “By stifling research exploring surgical population management solutions for horse and burro populations on federal land, we are furthering irreversible damage to rangelands and adding to a complex animal welfare issue. Surgical sterilization is a population management technique scientifically proven to be safe, effective and cost-efficient. The Bureau of Land Management was proceeding in a responsible, measured manner in this study, and they have support from sportsman, livestock, wildlife, and land conservation organizations who represent millions of Americans.”
  • The announcement that R-CALF will be allowed to expand its activist-funded crusade against state beef councils is a disappointment to countless beef producers and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association members across America. The phony allegations being perpetuated by R-CALF and its activist legal partners are without merit and only serve to divide beef producers and distract beef councils from the important work of building demand for our products, according to NCBA.
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Pork, Soy and Corn Groups Unite for Sustainability Research

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The National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) are joining together on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers.

The CEOs and farmer leaders of all three organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the 2018 NAFB Convention Wednesday in Kansas City, MO. The research program will include the sharing of completed research, coordination on current and planned research and define ways to share and communicate results with each organization’s members.

Pictured at the signing are NPB communications Cindy Cunningham; NPB CEO Bill Even; NPB President Steve Rommereim, South Dakota; USB CEO Polly Ruhland; USB chairman Lewis Bainbridge, South Dakota; NCGA CEO Jon Doggett, and NCGA president Lynn Chrisp of Nebraska.

A task force of farmer representatives from NPB, USB and NCGA will be formed and, with support from each organization, will be responsible for managing and evaluating the activities outlined in the MOU. Additionally, the task force will track progress and evaluate the value and impact of the MOU upon completion of all activities.

Listen to the group announcement here – Pork, Soy and Corn sustainability agreement

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

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NAFB is 75 Years Strong

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The 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention is marking the diamond anniversary of the meeting, which has been held in Kansas City for about 45 of those 75 years.

NAFB president Tom Cassidy, Ag Radio Network, says this year’s convention is the largest ever in the organization’s history, with many retired members who have been away from the business for years coming in for the celebration.

In this interview, Cassidy talks about this year’s meeting and the state of farm broadcasting.Interview with NAFB president Tom Cassidy, Ag Radio Network


2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

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Kansas City Here We Come

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ZimmComm is headed out today to the 75th annual NAFB convention at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. We first started attending NAFB in the mid-1980s and have been there every year since 1987. But there are lots of NAFB members who have been faithfully attending the annual meeting since before it started being held in Kansas City. This year will be different for us since we’re bringing our fur baby with us because the Westin is so dog friendly and we will be seeing the grandbabies later this week!

The NAFB was founded in 1944 as the National Association of Radio Farm Directors (NARFD). Television was added to the name in 1955 to become NATRFD. The next name change came in 1964 to the more inclusive National Association of Farm Broadcasters and NAFB. In 2005, the name was changed from Broadcasters to Broadcasting.

There is a lot of history in the NAFB and we’ll be sharing some of it this week, thanks to the support of FMC – which has been a proud sponsor of Trade Talk for many years. Stay tuned for lots of photos and interviews!

Meanwhile, take a walk down memory lane from the past decade or so of NAFB meetings in the ZimmComm Flickr collection. See you in Kansas City to make new memories this week!

Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
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Animal Ag Bites 11/5

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  • This Thanksgiving, more consumers will be able to trace their Honeysuckle White turkeys to the family farm where they were raised, thanks to a blockchain solution that brings transparency to consumer’s food purchases. Through a simple text or by entering an on-package code at, consumers can trace their turkey back to the family farm, access the farm’s location by state and county, view the family farm story, see photos from the farm and read a message from the farmer.
  • More than 1,600 National FFA Organization chapters across the country are receiving funds from veterinarians and animal health dealers and distributors through this year’s Zoetis Industry Support Program.
  • Farmweld is committed to providing U.S. pork producers with the highest quality equipment and services. To expand that effort, the company has hired Brent Jackson to provide field sales support in the vital pig production states of Iowa and Minnesota.
  • Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) announced that it has entered into a license and commercialization agreement with Zoetis to bring AAD’s innovative mastitis detection technology to dairy producers and veterinarians outside of the United States.
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Alltech Yeast Products Help Dairy Efficiency

carrie muehling

Alltech knows very well the benefits of using live yeast in a feed ration, and Territory Sales Manager Kurt Peterson was talking to farmers about that at the 2018 World Dairy Expo.

“Right now, everybody is aware of low milk prices. So the focus really is still driving efficiency at the dairy, looking at the ways to increase production without increasing cost, just evaluating things that they can control,” said Peterson.

Peterson said using yeast can lead to rumen stabilization and enhanced fiber digestion. He told farmers it is important to identify whether that yeast is going into a mineral, complete feed, or a supplement.

Listen to Jamie’s interview with Kurt here: Interview with Kurt Peterson, Alltech

2018 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

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CrystalBlox New Self-fed Cattle Protein Supplement

cindy zimmerman

As cow-calf producers prepare for fall and winter feeding conditions, the makers of CRYSTALYX® have launched a new self-fed protein supplement for beef cattle to help improve forage utilization.

CrystalBlox, developed by Ridley Block Operations which is part of the Alltech feed division, is the first supplement of its kind to be brought to the market in nearly 40 years. With a new hybrid form that combines the economical nutrient delivery and fortification of compressed blocks with the consistent and predictable intake of low moisture block technology, CrystalBlox will fit into a wide variety of feeding situations in which protein delivery is critical.

CrystalBlox is designed and formulated to provide supplemental protein to help improve forage utilization by promoting increased forage intake and improved fiber digestibility. In situations where forage crude protein levels are low due to drought or with advanced maturity such as fall and winter forages, CrystalBlox can provide supplemental protein that will help cattle extract more energy and nutrients from forage supplies.

In this edition of the Block Talk Podcast by CRYSTALYX Brand Supplements you can hear Dan Dhuyvetter, director of research and development and director of nutrition services at CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements, discusses how CrystalBlox combines CRYSTALYX and distillers grains to help maintain cow body condition as cattle consume low quality forages.

Listen here:
CRYSTALYX® Block Talk podcast on new block form

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Technology Changing Life on the Dairy Farm

carrie muehling

Technology is changing the way dairy farmers work, especially when it comes to data. More and more resources are available to collect data on nearly every aspect of a dairy, but with that opportunity comes the challenge of managing that information and using it to make decisions.

“It’s amazing how many new types of data we have on dairy farms,” said Jeff Bewley, Alltech Dairy Specialist. “We have many new technologies to help us monitor variables in the parlor. We have wearable technologies that are kind of like Fit Bits for cows that provide us an opportunity to monitor the behavior of the cow 24 hours per day.”

Bewley said those tools can help dairy producers to better understand and manage the health of their animals. They also help farmers to manage the individual animals instead of just groups or herds of animals. Bewley was at the 2018 World Dairy Expo.

Listen to Jamie’s interview with Jeff here: Interview with Jeff Bewley, Alltech

2018 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

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Animal Ag Bites 10/29

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  • Cargill has developed an industry-first robotic cattle driver aimed at improving animal welfare and employee safety. The robots are designed to move cattle from pens to the harvest area, reducing stress to the animals by minimizing their proximity to human activity. Employees operate the robots from a catwalk located above the pens, reducing safety risks by keeping those who work in the cattle yard portion of processing plants at a greater distance from the 1300-pound animals.
  • O’Fallon, IL-based Brookside Agra will feature several of its innovative products at EuroTier 2018, the world’s leading trade fair for animal production.
  • The USPOULTRY Foundation announces the completion of a funded research project at AviServe LLC in Newark, Del., that has revealed a new tool for controlling reovirus. A complete report may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website,
  • U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is hosting a Poultry Handling and Transportation “Train the Trainer” Workshop for poultry transporters and catch crews. The workshop is limited to 40 people, and the cost is $150 for USPOULTRY members and $300 for non-members. Please submit your application, along with a letter of recommendation from your supervisor, at
  • With North Carolina still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Florence, Smithfield Foods committed to invest in infrastructure and provide farmer incentives to install manure lagoon covers and digesters on 90 percent of the total hog finishing capacity in North Carolina, Missouri and Utah over the next ten years.
  • Smithfield Foods has initiated a challenge for Virginia Tech students involved in the student group Commodity Investing by Students, known as COINS, that would reward the top-performing analysts with a yearlong supply of Smithfield bacon.
  • The National Pork Producers Council applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its proposed rule exempting livestock farmers from reporting to state and local authorities the routine emissions from their farms.
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