USDA Aids $6 Million to Farmers & Ranchers Hit by Wildfire

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, announced that the USDA has designated $6 million in aid to help farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“I am pleased USDA has acted swiftly to aid producers recovering from the largest wildfire in state history,” said Roberts. “For many Kansans, the impacts are devastating because the fires not only consumed livestock, grazing lands, and fencing – but in some cases, homes, machinery, and equipment, too.”

The $6 million in available funding, delivered through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), will assist farmers and ranchers as they attempt to restore grazing lands, rehabilitate devastated landscapes, rebuild fencing, and protect damaged watersheds.

“We are still learning lessons from the response to the Anderson Creek fires from last year that can be applied to this response and recovery effort,” Roberts said.

Roberts also talked about how the wildfires impacting his home state of Kansas and it’s neighbors while addressing attendees of the Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit held March, 20.

Listen to his complete remarks here: Announcement from Senator Pat Roberts

Ag Group, Audio, Government, usda

NPPC Farm Bill Priorities

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

The U.S. pork industry’s top priority for the next Farm Bill aligns with testimony from other animal ag groups – establishing a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank. The National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC) Vice President David Herring, a pork producer from Newtown Grove, N.C. also testified before the House Agriculture subcommittee this week.

“If this country ever had an FMD outbreak, it not only would devastate my farm and the whole livestock industry but the entire U.S. economy,” said Herring.

To address a potential FMD outbreak, which would cost the beef, corn, pork and soy bean industries alone an estimated $200 billion over 10 years, NPPC wants the 2018 Farm Bill to direct the USDA to:
– Contract with an offshore, vendor-maintained vaccine bank that would have available FMD antigen concentrate to protect against all 23 of the most common FMD types currently circulating in the world.
– Maintain a vendor-managed inventory of 10 million doses of vaccine, which is the estimated need for the first two weeks of an outbreak.
– Contract with an international manufacturer or manufacturers for the surge capacity to produce at least 40 million doses.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Disease, farm bill, NPPC, Policy, Pork

Turkey Federation Proposes Animal Disease Defense Plan

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Also in testimony before the House Ag Committee’s Livestock Subcommittee, National Turkey Federation, Chairman Carl Wittenburg, North Dakota turkey farmer, warned that the recent outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) among chickens illustrates the risk that must be addressed.

“As partners in the Animal Ag Coalition, which represents all facets of animal ag production,” said Wittenburg, “we hope to build upon the concept that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ mantra and focus federal dollars on targeted efforts that reduces foreign diseases’ ability to gain a foothold here in the first place. As an industry, we learned many lessons from the outbreak, and the way we quickly contained a similar case of HPAI in Indiana last year indicates the industry is applying those lessons to reduce the chances of a future outbreak. However, the road ahead remains long and as an industry we will need continued support from Congress to assist USDA/Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to reduce the long-term impacts.”

Wittenburg outlined four key areas of focus:
1. Support for the Animal Pest and Disease Disaster Prevention Program
2. Establish a long-needed Foot and Mouth Vaccine Bank strategy
3. Develop block grants for states and other key players for strategic targeting areas of concern
4. Support and collaboration for funding the science generated by the science programs of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Ag Group, Animal Health, farm bill, National Turkey Federation, Policy, Poultry, Turkey

Cattlemen’s Priorities for 2018 Farm Bill

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

In testimony before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, Craig Uden, a fourth-generation cattle producer from Nebraska and the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), called on Congress to authorize $150 million a year over five years for a “stronger and more adequate foot-and-mouth disease (FMB) vaccine bank” as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Foot-and-mouth disease is highly contagious and has the potential to spread widely and rapidly, debilitating our herds,” Uden warned subcommittee members in his oral testimony. “Analysts estimate that an FMD outbreak in the United States could potentially cost our nation’s livestock producers billions of dollars in the first 12 months alone. An FMD outbreak has the potential to cause enormous economic losses to not only livestock producers, but also to auction markets, slaughterhouses, food processors and related industries.”

Uden also testified that the vast majority of cattlemen oppose the federal government’s involvement in determining how their cattle are marketed – whether through vehicles like Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA’s) interim final rule on competitive injury or through mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (mCOOL.)

Read More

Ag Group, Beef, Disease, NCBA, Policy, Trade

Nominations for BQA Awards Now Being Accepted

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Nominations for the 2018 national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards are now being accepted. The beef checkoff-funded program, now in its 12th year, recognizes five winners in the areas of beef and dairy beef production, marketing and education.

Categories for the award are:
– BQA Cow-Calf, BQA Feedyard and BQA Dairy awards recognize producers who best demonstrate the implementation of BQA principles as part of day-to-day activities on their respective operations;
– The BQA Educator Award is open to individuals or companies that provide high quality and innovative training to individuals who care for and handle cattle throughout the industry chain; and
– The BQA Marketer Award is open to livestock markets, cattle buyers and supply-chain programs that promote BQA to their customers and offer them opportunities to get certified.

Applications are due by June 2, 2017, and should be submitted to Grace Webb at

Ag Group, Animal Health, Beef, BQA

USFRA Celebrates Ag Day

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Tomorrow is National Agriculture Day and hundreds of groups, companies and people will be participating in activities that celebrate American ag. US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) will be honoring the day by co-sponsoring a panel on Smart Farming: Producing Sustainable, Nutritious Food for Life with National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) and American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA). The event will take place at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Panelists include:
Moderated by Greg Horstmeier, DTN, Editor-in-Chief, panelists include:
Chip Bowling, Maryland crop farmer, NCGA Chairman, USFRA Vice Chairman
Lauren Schwab, Ohio pig farmer, USFRA Face of Farming & Ranching
Dr. Bob Young, American Farm Bureau Federation, Chief Economist & Deputy Executive Director, Public Policy
Beverly Flores, John Deere, Media and Communications Manager
Additionally, Ray Starling, Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade, and Food Assistance, will offers some remarks.

To join in, please register here.

Ag Group, Events, USFRA

Perdue Confirmation Hearing Set

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Sonny Perdue will get a step closer to the office of agriculture secretary next week.

The Senate agriculture committee will hold a hearing March 23 on the nomination of the former Georgia governor, who was the last cabinet member to be named by President Trump. Two other cabinet members, Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative and Alexander Acosta for labor secretary, are also still awaiting confirmation two months after President Trump took office.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s budget released this week calls for a 21 percent cut in USDA’s budget – about $4.7 billion – in discretionary spending, including cuts in rural water projects.

Government, politics, usda

Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Setting up official National Ag Day Activities Tuesday in Washington, DC, Agri-Pulse is holding a Farm Bill Summit today, part of their on-going Farm Bill Series.

Over 400 industry representatives, congressional staff members, and invited guests are gathering for the day long event that features farm bill veterans and policy experts discussing the road that lies ahead for the 2018 farm bill negotiations. Sponsors include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sugar Alliance, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Farm Credit, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Crop Insurance Services, Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, FLM+, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, CropLife America, National Farmers Union, and Environmental Defense Fund.

Watch the Twitter hashtag #FarmBillSummit today and watch for our coverage of the event on AgWired.

In this podcast, Agri-Pulse president Sara Wyant talks about this premiere event: Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit

Ag Group, Audio, Policy, politics

Alltech Founder Earns St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (right) presents The Science Foundation Ireland St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal 2017 to Dr. Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech, at the United States Institute of Peace. Photographed by Nick Crettier.

Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech, and Professor Adrian E. Raftery, professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington, have been presented with the Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) ‘St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal.’ The medal recognizes their outstanding accomplishments and their role in researching Ireland’s ecosystem. The honor is given to an Irish scientist, engineer or technology leader living and working in the U.S.

Dr. Lyons, born in Dundalk, is the first Irish scientist to have created a science-based global business. Alltech now trades in more than 120 countries, employees 5,000 team members and maintains three bioscience centers for research and education, one in County Meath, Ireland.

Congratulating the recipients at an award event held in the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, said: “I am delighted to present the SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal on behalf of Science Foundation Ireland, to these two exceptional leaders. Dr. Lyons and Prof. Raftery have both had a huge impact in their own areas of expertise and played pivotal roles in the development of researchers in Ireland.”

Agribusiness, Alltech, award

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • Wyffels Hybrids, Inc. named Trista Thompson the company’s Media and Digital Communications Manager. Thompson brings 15 years of media planning, digital and social marketing experience to the company. She was most recently Director of Integrated Media for Osborn Barr.
  • The American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) welcomes Tom Strahm to the staff as commercial marketing director. Strahm’s responsibilities will include those principle goals of feeder and commercial female marketing avenues, as well as serving cow-calf producers and the entire beef industry. Strahm will also work with AGA members to assist them in building demand for Gelbvieh and Balancer genetics.
  • Members of the World Dairy Expo® Board of Directors, Commercial Exhibitor Committee and Dairy Cattle Exhibitor Committee held their biennial election of officers and resulted in Al Deming being re-elected as President, Bill Hageman, Jr., First Vice President; Debbie Crave, Second Vice President and Mike Hellenbrand, Secretary/Treasurer and Scott Bentley, WDE General Manager.
  • More than $25,000 of scholarship money is available for active National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members who are seniors in high school or currently enrolled in a college program. In addition to scholarships, the NJHA also honors deserving members with junior and senior prospect awards as well as the prestigious junior golden bull award and B.C. Snidow Awards. All scholarship and award applications are due April 1.
  • Animal Bites