Senators Address Organic Livestock, Poultry Concerns

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Senate ag committeeU.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, led a bipartisan group of 13 Senators in sending a second letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), requesting additional information regarding expressed concerns with the Agency’s proposed rule on revised organic livestock and poultry production standards.

“The proposed rule raises significant concerns regarding the impact on current organic poultry and egg producers as well as access and price for organic consumers,” the Senators said. “Further, proposed changes to outdoor access standards could have a detrimental impact to both animal health and food safety.”

Other Senators include Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Bob Casey, D-Penn.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Gary Peters, D-Mich.; David Perdue, R-Ga.; and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

On May 26, leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees sent a letter requesting an extended public comment period. USDA granted an additional 30 days on June 7.

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing in May on the U.S. livestock and poultry sectors, which included testimony from a variety of producers.

Ag Group, Government, Livestock, Organic, Policy, politics, Poultry

VetX On-Demand Veterinarian Revolutionizes Pet-Care Industry

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 6.34.32 PMPet owners across the U.S. will soon have on-demand access to 24/7 veterinary care through a new web and app-based platform called VetX. VetX is pioneering a new frontier by allowing users to contact a local veterinarian at any hour for an unlimited video consultation of $14.99.

Users new to the service or unsure if they need an actual consultation can also post general questions on the platform’s social feed, which are also answered by the team’s veterinarians. VetX also caters to pet owners who travel often or leave their pets in the custody of others by allowing users to store their pet’s medical records on the cloud.

Founders of VetX Tan Kabra and John Dillon came up with the idea when Tan’s cat began licking its stitches a few nights after surgery. “I tried to take her to a clinic, but it was closed so we had to take her to an animal hospital,” Tan said. “It took 90 seconds and costed $250 for the vet to tell us she was fine.”

“We are both pet owners and it made immediate sense,” said John. “There are millions of pets in the United States. Everyone we know that has a pet loves them dearly and there is an increasing trend where people see them as actual members of their families. Physical vet visits can often be massively inconvenient – that’s where we step in.”

“A tricky part for us was to define what medical advice can and cannot be given remotely through a digital platform”, said Tan. “Our success has been in our ability to craft win-win relationships with our brick-and-mortar partners and help offer them a valuable source of referral business”.

When asked about their growth plans, John said: “The feedback from people has been tremendous and we’re already in talks with some of the largest institutional players in the country about partnering up. The amount of information that we can glean from users’ questions, in combination with their pets’ health records is tremendous. We’re also looking at ways to improve our pets’ lives more holistically – like adding interactive social features for the pet owners, tracking pets’ daily wellness and providing special member discounts for food and gear. We’re really excited about the possibilities.”

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Veterinary

AAEA Researches TPP’s Impact on Dairy

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

imageThe Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may be the most historic free trade agreement of its time. While the document was signed earlier this year, it has yet to be ratified in many of the 12 participating countries, including the United States, where it has become a significant issue in the race for President.

Many concerns from TPP opposition relate to a potential increase in competition from other countries, with specific concerns stemming from the U.S. dairy sector.

AAEA members Everett Peterson and Jason Grant of Virginia Tech University recently conducted research on this issue, titled “Impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for U.S. and International Dairy Trade.”

The study’s full results will be released at the 2016 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting in Boston, July 31 – August 2.

“It benefits U.S. dairy producers,” Peterson said. “There will be opportunities to increase exports and production of dairy products will be going up. And that is good for domestic producers.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Dairy, economics, Export, Export, Trade

ADI Releases Cow and Dog Ovulation Kits

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

rdt-dog-progesterone Alpha Diagnostic International, Inc. (ADI) has officially launched the TruStrip Rapid Progesterone Test Kit for the detection of ovulation in dogs and cows. The kit simplifies the screening process for determining the most ideal breeding time for both dogs and cows, and offers results within a matter of minutes. The product builds upon the previous ELISA-based test kit for ovulation testing supplied by ADI. A video demonstration of the TruStrip Rapid Progesterone Test can be found here

Animal owners have traditionally relied on visual cues, cytological scans of vaginal swabs, ultrasound scans, endoscopic examinations to help determine ovulation, which are time-consuming, expensive, and can often result in missed fertile periods.

“The TruStrip Rapid Progesterone Test Kit will allow dog and cattle owners to determine the ideal time to breed the animal in a much timelier, reliable, and economical fashion compared to the traditional testing methods that they have been relying upon,” says Dr. Masarrat Ali, Scientific Director and President of ADI.

An estimated 5% to 25% of cows are not in heat when inseminated, and inaccurate ovulation detection is one of the mostly costly problems for dairy producers. Every day that a cow is open beyond the 90 days of post-calving can cost producers a loss of up to $3 per cow each day. Progesterone tests can greatly increase both the accuracy and efficiency of ovulation detection.
“The TruStrip Rapid Progesterone Test Kit will have a big impact on the overall productivity and profitability of the dairy farming business due to the significant reduction in the number of open cows,” added Dr. Ali.

The TruStrip Rapid Progesterone Test Kit is available in packs of 10, 25, or 100 tests, contains all reagents, test strips, and positive and negative control samples, and is recommended for use by veterinarians and other individuals who are qualified to draw blood from dogs and cows. For more information, visit the website here

Ag Group, Animal Health, Cattle, Health, Reproduction, Veterinary

Get the New Ranch House Journal

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 11.00.37 AMRanch House Designs has created “Ranch House Journal” in an effort to keep their customers ahead of the rest of the herd. The quarterly publication will be handed out at major cattle industry events. The first issue will debut this August at the Kansas State Fair, Maryland State Fair, Colorado State Fair, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Convention, Iowa State Fair, Oklahoma State Fair, Tulsa State Fair, State Fair of Texas and many more.

Current clients can get their ad included FREE OF CHARGE. Any client who uses Ranch House to design their ads for any other publication will get their ad included in Ranch House Journal free. Any client on retainer with us will also have their ad included free of charge. If you are a Ranch House client, but got someone else to do your ad (like your breed magazine) don’t worry, you can still be in the magazine, for a rate of $50. Just email them your camera ready ad by August 5th.

Agribusiness, Beef, Livestock, Marketing

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • The American Angus Association and Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) welcomed Dr. Stephen Miller as director of genetic research for the cattle industry’s leading genetic evaluation center. Miller will join the AGI team to lead the organization’s research and development efforts, and to further the innovative evaluation methods for the Association’s weekly National Cattle Evaluation and AGI clients.
  • USPOULTRY’s 2016 Live Production and Welfare Seminar will address the latest topics and challenges associated with poultry care and handling. The program speakers will consist of industry managers, veterinarians and scientists who will bring relevant information addressing a variety of topics including animal welfare, disease management and technology updates. The seminar will be held Sept. 13-14, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted three requests for export assistance from Dairy Farms of America and Northwest Dairy Association, who have contracts to sell 90,390 pounds of Cheddar and Gouda cheese, and 881,849 pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Asia. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from August through October 2016.
Animal Bites

USEF Extends Saddleseat Young Rider Deadline

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

USASaddleSeatYoungRiders The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) has extended the application deadline for the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team to September 1, 2016.. The 2017 team will compete at the U.S. Test Event to be held April 3-6, 2017 in Perry, Georgia. The extension comes after confirmation that there will not be a 2017 Test Event in South Africa.

The Young Riders Team was created with the intention of developing athletes for future International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup competitions. Test Events held during years that the International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup is not held, allow members of the Young Riders Team to represent the United States in international competition. Six athletes will be chosen for both the three- and five-gaited sections.

Riders will not have to attend live tryouts to be selected for the U.S. Saddle Seat Equitation Young Riders Team. Selection will be based on an application and riding video.

The U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders website features a copy of the 2017 selection criteria and tips for applicants.

More information on the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team can be found by contacting any of the following National Affiliates staff members:

Lori Nelson,
Terra Schroeder,
Jennifer Mellenkamp,
Erin DesNoyers,

Ag Group, Competition, Equestrian, Equine, Events, USEF, Youth

DMI Announces New President

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Barb O'Brien Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) recently promoted Barb O’Brien as the organization’s new president. O’Brien will now oversee the strategic planning and operations for DMI.

“Barb has a proven track record in developing strategy and building partnerships with and through the industry to position U.S. dairy farmers and the broader dairy community for success,” DMI CEO Tom Gallagher said. “She has successfully managed virtually every area of DMI at one time or another. But most important, Barb has the respect of the staff, as well as industry and partner leaders.”

O’Brien is a 15-year veteran of DMI, and intends on remaining president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Eight years ago, O’Brien helped design and build the Innovation Center, which works to advance collaboration among more than 450 companies and 1,000 farmers and others from across the dairy community to help guide the industry’s future.

Her transition to president will allow Gallagher’s focus to remain on new business-building opportunities that can enhance the checkoff’s long-term vision and strategy.

“As our world and the environment in which we operate moves and changes at an ever-accelerating rate, so must we,” Gallagher said. “It is my mission to make sure we not only keep up, but that we see around corners to anticipate what’s ahead.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Dairy, Dairy Checkoff, Dairy Management Inc.

John Deere Launches New How-To Website

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

OverallJohn Deere and Frontier Equipment recently announced the launch of, a new website that offers a convenient, trustworthy, one-stop resource for the answers to all of your “how-do-I-do-that” kind of questions. More than 45 helpful articles and videos have been uploaded to the site, covering the solutions on how to tackle many of those property jobs and projects.

“Go to and you’ll find the kind of how-to information customers are really looking for,” says Scott Geier, manager, sales/marketing, John Deere. “You’ll find instructions and product information on a range of topics including gravel drives, fence building, garden building, mowing, seeding, snow removal, water control, and much, much more.”

The site grew out of conversations with customers about the types of information that were the most helpful when working with their equipment. At the top of the list were tips and ideas about ways to maintain and improve their property, as well as information on how to get the most out of their equipment.

ID1475056-Tip_Notebook_Landing_Page_A“There are other places that have this kind of information,” adds Geier. “But it’s scattered across dozens of websites and it’s hard to sort. At, project tips and solutions developed by experts are centralized, trustworthy and easy-to-find. And, we’ll be adding new tips and advice regularly.”

Topics include how to use a grooming mower, how to plant a wildflower meadow, how to maintain a gravel drive, how to use a manure spreader, how to aerate, fertilize, and over seed your lawn, how to create a large vegetable garden with a one-bottom plow, how to build a rail fence, how to use a wood chipper, how to renovate a pasture, and how to free a tractor stuck in the mud.

For more information about how to tackle just about any project the right way, customers are encouraged to contact their local John Deere dealer or visit the new website here.

Ag Group, Company Announcement, Equipment, John Deere, Technology

USMEF Holds Sixth Latin American Showcase

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Dan Halstrom discusses underutilized pork cuts during an educational session at the Latin American Product Showcase

Dan Halstrom discusses underutilized pork cuts during
an educational session at the Latin American Product Showcase

This year marked the sixth annual U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Latin American Product Showcase. This year’s event was held in Panama City, Panama, and has become key for connecting exporters of U.S. beef, pork and lamb with buyers from Central and South America and the Caribbean.

120 buyers were in attendance this year representing 14 countries, and 42 USMEF member companies were on site exhibiting U.S. red meat products. Exporters participated in one-on-one meetings with buyers to discuss their specific product needs, and the event’s several educational sessions provided buyers with detailed information about the value opportunities offered by underutilized cuts of of U.S. red meat.

One factor fostering recent growth in red meat exports to Latin America is The implementation of several free trade agreements, including the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), as well as bilateral agreements with Chile, Peru, Colombia and Panama, were a hot topic this year, but USMEF senior vice president of marketing Dan Halstrom explained that capitalizing on these agreements still requires strong marketing efforts.

First-time showcase participant Sebastian Postel of Superior Farms (left) displayed a wide range of U.S. lamb cuts for prospective customers

First-time showcase participant Sebastian Postel of Superior Farms (left)
displayed a wide range of U.S. lamb cuts for prospective customers

“FTAs have definitely reduced tariffs and eliminated many trade barriers, making U.S. products accessible to a much broader range of Latin American consumers,” Halstrom said. “But penetrating these markets still requires relationship building and education, as buyers in these emerging regions are hungry for information about our products and about our industry. That’s where an event like the Latin American Product Showcase really shines. It brings an entire hemisphere of buyers to one location and allows dozens of solid business contacts to be made in a very short period of time.”

Sami Rizk, president of Mirasco Inc., used the showcase to spotlight beef livers, which Mirasco has successfully marketed in the Middle East as an economically priced table meat and sandwich ingredient.

“In much the same way that you see hot dog carts in U.S. cities, liver sandwiches have become a very popular street food in Egypt,” Rizk said. “So Mirasco is taking the concept that was developed in Egypt and introducing it in markets here in Latin America. We believe there are similar tastes in terms of palate, and that the sandwich application has great potential in Central and South America.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Beef, Export, Export, Imports, International, Pork, Trade