Best Thanksgiving Wishes to All

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

thanksgiving-2014aO God, source and giver of all things,
You manifest your infinite majesty, power and goodness
In the earth about us:
We give you honor and glory.
For the sun and the rain,
For the manifold fruits of our fields:
For the increase of our herds and flocks,
We thank you.
For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace,
We are grateful.

Supreme Lord of the harvest,
Graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil,
In union with Jesus, your Son,
As atonement for our sins,
For the growth of your Church,
For peace and love in our homes,
And for salvation for all.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Food, General, Harvest, ZimmComm

Cattlemen’s College Lineup in San Antonio

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

cattlemenscollegeThe National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Cattlemen’s College, now celebrating its 22nd year, has established a reputation as one of the most thorough cattle producer education programs in the nation. Sponsored by Zoetis, the 2015 edition of Cattlemen’s College offers a wide range of informative, hands-on educational workshops designed for cattle operations of every size and sector.

The program will be held Feb. 3-4, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas, headlining the first day of activities at the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Early registration for Cattlemen’s College and the convention ends Jan. 9, 2015.

Cattlemen’s College workshops include an outstanding lineup of industry experts during the course of two jam-packed days. On Tuesday, Feb. 3, participants will first hear from Gary Smith, Keith Belk, Daryl Tatum and Dale Woerner on “Feeding to Increase the Quality, Consistency, and Competitiveness from Market Cows.” This first hands-on class will help attendees improve the beef from market cows, identify production practices and learn value concepts from feedlot to retail.

Starting Wednesday morning at 7:00 am, Cattlemen’s College classes begin with a keynote address by Scott Neal, Senior VP, Produce, Meat and Seafood for Walmart. Neal will address how Walmart perceives increasing beef prices, expanding exports, increased focus on sustainability, world-wide growth and how today’s Walmart customers view beef.

Following Neal’s address, classes focusing on rebuilding the herd, the future of beef production, and many other valuable topics will be held, concluding with lunch session, with legendary farm broadcaster Max Armstrong. Armstrong will talk about how in his view from nearly forty years as a broadcaster, it’s a great time to be in the beef business.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Beef, Cattle, NCBA

National Bison Association’s Bison Central

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nafb-bisonBison breeders Peter Kohl, from Missouri and Dick Gehring, from Kansas represented the National Bison Association at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk recently in Kansas City, MO. I spoke with them about their operations and about the growing demand for their product.

Many have reservations when it comes to eating bison because they are simply not familiar with it. Peter said they set up tastings to give consumers a sample. During this time he also shares cooking tips and educates them on it’s health benefits.

“We are representing the entire nation in this industry and everyone has a different take on it,” said Dick when commenting on how they communicate to consumers. National Bison day was November 1st and it provides an opportunity to reach a national audience.

The duo said if they can just get people to try bison, they all seem to become quickly hooked. is a one-stop shop for anything and everything bison. They have resources for producers, educational tools for the classroom and tips for consumers. Learn more about bison in my complete interview with Peter and Dick here: Interview with Bison Breeders

Find photos from the event here:
2014 NAFB Convention Photos

Ag Group, Audio, Bison, Meat, NAFB

NMPF’s Dairy Data Highlights

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

dairy data highlightsWhat has 53 tables, 20 graphs and tells you almost anything you need to know about milk production, dairy product production and sales and dairy exports and imports?

The answer is the 2014 edition of Dairy Data Highlights, the National Milk Producers Federation’s handy, pocket-sized booklet including national and state milk and dairy production data from the 1970s through 2012 or 2013.

Dairy Data Highlights has been published annually by NMPF for more than 60 years. A must for anyone involved in milk production, it is available to NMPF member cooperatives and associate members for $7.50 a copy, or $5 for orders of more than 10 copies. For nonmembers, the cost is $10 for single copies or $7.50 for bulk orders. Find the order form here.

All aspects of milk and dairy products production are covered, as well as producer, wholesale and retail milk and dairy product prices; federal milk marketing orders; sales and consumption data for milk and dairy products, and comparative information for U.S. dairy imports and exports.

New this year is a table showing historical monthly income-over-feed cost margins, as defined by the 2014 farm bill for the new Margin Protection Program. The table goes back to January 2000. With two accompanying line graphs, it is a timely addition for producers now making participation decisions on the new federal dairy safety net program.

Ag Group, Dairy, National Milk

IPPE Offers Free Educational Programs

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 12.12.13 AMThe International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is offering a variety of free education programs to attendees. The programs will be held in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., from Jan. 27 – 29, 2015.

These programs will cover a wide array of education sessions on pressing meat and poultry issues, including food safety, worker safety, dietary guidelines, new products and export and international issues.

The Pork 101 Workshop will cover quality and consistency issues in the pork industry, providing insight on value differences in swine, pork carcasses, pork primals and processed pork products due to quality variation, while the Biosecurity: PEDv and Foot & Mouth Disease program (Spanish translated) will discuss the biosecurity challenges posed by the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and Foot & Mouth disease and provide practical take-a-ways for maintaining a healthy herd. The Pork Tech Theater program will discuss the latest developments in the international pig industry, addressing topics such as group housing of pregnant sows, a PEDv research update and a future without antibiotics.

Read More

Ag Group, IPE, IPPE, Meat, Poultry

FARMLAND on Demand for Thanksgiving

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

farmlandlogo4The feature film Farmland is now available for rent and purchase via On Demand platforms – providing more people with the opportunity to view the film from their own homes and digital devices. The film’s move to digital platforms takes place this month, following a successful four-week run on and Hulu Plus.

Farmland is available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, Sony PlayStation,, Xbox and YouTube. The cost to download and own the film ranges from $14.99 to $19.99 for high definition and $12.99 to $14.99 for standard definition format. Online rental will cost approximately $4.99 to $7.99 for high definition and $3.99 to $6.99 for standard definition format.

Farmland will also be available to traditional satellite and cable television subscribers via their respective Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View platforms in December 2014. DirecTV and DISH subscribers will have access to Farmland through their Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View channels beginning on December 2. The film is also being made available to companies that deliver Video-on-Demand (VOD) or Pay-per-View (PPV) content to ATT U-Verse, Verizon Fios, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. Viewers are encouraged to check their local VOD/PPV channels on their respective cable and satellite television providers for details.

It’s the perfect film to watch at a time when we are giving thanks for our bountiful supply of food in the United States – and the great people who produce it!

Farming, General, USFRA

Insights into Genomic Testing in Angus

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nafb-angusDr. Dan Moser, President of Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) was on hand in the American Angus Association booth during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk. AGI is a subsidiary of American Angus that provides a genetic evaluations of expected progeny differences (EPDs) that are released to Angus breeders each week and are responsible for the DNA testing for the Angus breed.

“The one thing we are excited about is the uptake of genomic testing and EPD calculations. Compared to last year our genomically enhanced EPD tests are up 30%. That is resulting in higher accuracy EPDs, especially in young animals.”

Dan said they are not only seeing increased use of this testing in purebred herds. The commercial industry has also embraced the new technology and are utilizing it as it has decreased in costs and as the replacement heifer value has increased. They are seeing the rewards of their investment.

Looking into the future, Dan says feed intake data will more widely be used in genetic evaluations. Feed efficiency has been evaluated since 2010, but in December they are going to incorporate this data into their profit indexes.

Listen to my complete interview with Dan here: Interview with Dr. Dan Moser, Angus Genetics Inc.

Find photos from the event here:
2014 NAFB Convention Photos

Ag Group, Angus, Audio, NAFB

The WMMB Link

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

BangartDavid copyThe Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) would like to share their monthly column highlighting a WMMB Board Member and informing Wisconsin dairy producers about what’s happening at WMMB. This inaugural “The WMMB Link” column is written by David Bangart from District 7 and it features a Thanksgiving message.

Winter arrived too early for many of us. Shorter days, colder nights and snow on the ground may have even the best of us suffering already from the “winter blues.” To add insult to injury, many farmers in my part of Wisconsin look out their windows or barn doors to see a half-harvested crop of corn silage, corn or soybeans. They know that under that clean blanket of snow lies the soft ground resulting from the year’s excess moisture.

To put it mildly, 2014 will go down as a very challenging crop year, however, we still have much to be thankful for. We definitely were blessed with strong dairy prices, coupled with an unheard of beef market, both of which have been a boost for attitudes and profit levels. But that’s not all!

Being a board member for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), I’ve been able to see lots of exciting things happening for America’s Dairyland. And this Thanksgiving, even if it’s been colder and nastier outside than it should be, I want to share three reasons to give thanks and be grateful for all the good “dairy” things in our lives:

Reason #1: Dairy’s economic impact on Wisconsin keeps growing
Reason #2: MoDairy – raising awareness and funds for men’s health
Reason #3: Grassroots efforts and the volunteers who promote our industry

This Thanksgiving, may you find many more blessings and reasons to give thanks, and celebrate this beautiful holiday with smiles in your heart. Happy Thanksgiving!

The complete article can be found here.

Ag Group, Cheese, Dairy, Milk

Pork Board Funds New Swine Health Center

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

PorkCheckoffAt its regularly scheduled November meeting, the National Pork Board’s board of directors approved the funding of a national Swine Health Information Center. The new, autonomous venture will focus its efforts on implementing industry preparedness for disease challenges that could affect U.S. swine herds.

According to Dr. Paul Sundberg, vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board, a $15 million investment by the Pork Checkoff would fund the center for five years. The center would be governed by a board consisting of representatives from the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) and at-large pork producers.

“It’s our intention to establish a center that can improve our preparedness for swine diseases with the combined resources of swine veterinarians, producers, researchers, diagnosticians and state and federal animal health officials,” Sundberg said. “We have learned a lot over the past year and a half from our experience with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and we want to create a unique, collaborative system that will help us achieve our overall goal of preparing for the next emerging swine disease.”

Sundberg says the proposed new center would work toward recognizing and filling the resource and knowledge gaps that currently exist in swine disease diagnostics as they relate to emerging diseases. Also, the new center would work with the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases at Texas A&M University to help facilitate swine health data analysis.

Read More

Ag Group, Animal Health, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Swine

NBB: Livestock Industry Sees Big Benefits from Biodiesel

John Davis Leave a Comment

nafb14-nbb-weberWhile some have tried to pit the biofuels industry against livestock producers, the folks at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) explain their green fuel is actually helping those producers.

“The livestock industry is a strong stakeholder. That’s how we view animal agriculture in terms of biodiesel production,” said Alan Weber, economic consultant for the NBB, during a recent interview with Cindy at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention.

Alan said that while soy oil still remains the main feedstock for biodiesel, the fuel is making inroads using animal tallow. In fact, he said that 25 percent of animal fat from livestock production now goes into biodiesel. He pointed out that while European demand has dropped for animal fats, biodiesel has helped maintain the market and keep money in farmers’ pockets. Alan also reiterated a point made many times before that with the crush of soybeans for biodiesel, it is actually helping keep feed for livestock plentiful.

“Every time we crush an additional bushel of soybeans, we also get more meal,” actually keeping down feed costs, he said. “It’s been a nice relationship, and we look forward to continuing that in the future.”

Listen to more of Cindy’s interview with Alan here: Interview with Alan Weber, economic consultant for the NBB

Agribusiness, Audio, Feed, Livestock