Cousin Elected to Heifer International Board of Directors

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Ertharin Cousin, former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, has been elected to the Heifer International Board of Directors, joining other members with diverse backgrounds in the business, agriculture, academic, faith-based and private sectors. Cousin will serve on the board as an at-large delegate for a three-year term.

With more than 30 years of national and international nonprofit, government and corporate leadership experience, Cousin is globally renowned for her humanitarian work. From 2009 to 2017, Cousin served as executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme. As the leader of the world’s largest humanitarian organization, she guided 14,000 employees serving 80 million beneficiaries in 75 countries meeting urgent food needs and increased funding for the Programme by more than $2 million in her passionate pursuit for a Zero Hunger World. Additionally, in 2009, Cousin was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

Cousin spoke at the Water for Food International Forum earlier this year in Washington D.C. and talked about her passion to end hunger and make agriculture productive across the global community.

WFF18 Ertharin Cousin, Ambassador World Food Programme

Interview with Ertharin Cousin, Ambassador World Food Programme

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Alltech Young Scientist Award Winners at #ONE18

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The winners of the Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) program were announced on day two of #ONE18. Each of them were presented with their award by Alltech’s Dr. Karl Dawson on stage during the general session here at The Alltech Ideas Conference. “We reviewed projects representing 86 universities,” said Dr. Karl Dawson, vice president and chief scientific officer at Alltech. “These young scientists demonstrate that the future of scientific discovery is bright.”

Alltech says it is the world’s largest agriscience competition. It offers the brightest scientific thinkers from colleges and universities across the globe an opportunity to compete at the highest level and be rewarded for their innovative research. The program is in its 13th year.

The undergraduate winner of $5,000 and a fully funded Ph.D. program at the university of her choice is Leesa-Joy Flanagan, representing the University of Adelaide in Australia. Her work focused on the effects of different sources of undegradable dietary protein on lamb growth, daily weight gain and voluntary feed intake. Interview with Lessa-Joy Flanagan

The competition includes several stages: a nomination phase, regional phase and global phase. The winners receive cash awards and an all expenses paid trip to Lexington, KY which includes attending the Alltech Ideas Conference.

Students are encouraged to join Alltech in pursuit of solutions in animal health and nutrition, crop science, agriculture analytical methods, food chain safety and traceability, human health and nutrition and other agriscience-related sectors, while also gaining valuable experience with the company’s global team.

The graduate winner of $10,000 and a fully funded postdoctoral position is Saheed Salami, representing the University of Catania in Italy. His research investigated cardoon meal as a novel feed and its effect on lamb performance, rumen function and meat quality. Interview with Saheed Salami

To participate in the program you must be nominated by your professor. You can find out more about participating and registering on the Alltech Young Scientist website.

The newly added Impact Award recognized a project with the potential to make a significant impact on agriculture. The winner of the $1,000 prize is Moisés Poli from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil. His research focused on Pacific white shrimp and Nile tilapia integration in a biofloc system under different fish stocking densities. Interview with Moisés Poli

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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Alltech Honors Company Founder’s Legacy

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For the first time in the history of the Alltech annual conference, the company bestowed a double award recognizing Alltech’s founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons. The extraordinary entrepreneur recently passed away and the ONE 18, Alltech Ideas Conference has provided an opportunity to celebrate his life and achievements.

Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech President and his mother Diedre Lyons, accepted the awards.

“He was constantly encouraging us to be the best we could be for those around us so that they could flourish and become the best they could be,” said Mark, reflecting on Dr. Lyons’ goal that Alltech should be built on passion, excellence and fun. “He wanted them to live with those values he had, and that excellence, something that he and my mother shared — maybe she even more so.”

The Alltech Medal of Excellence, Alltech’s highest distinction, was awarded to Dr. Lyons for his work as a visionary scientist. As an entrepreneur and a tireless innovator, Dr. Lyons utilized his scientific expertise in yeast fermentation and his acute business sense to revolutionize the animal feed industry through the introduction of natural ingredients to animal feed. In the past 10 years alone, his scientific achievements have been listed in more than 300 patents.

Additionally, he was recognized with the Alltech Humanitarian Award for having a boundless philanthropic spirit. The award is bestowed annually to someone of strong character who uses their platform to positively influence and inspire those around them. For Dr. Lyons and Mrs. Deirdre Lyons, making a difference in the world by empowering others has been an everyday reality of their personal and professional lives.

“We cannot replace Dr. Pearse Lyons, nobody can,” said Mark. “But if we start to think like him, if we can get 10 people, 100 people, 1,000 people thinking like him, imagine what we can achieve together.”

It was a very emotional moment here at the conference and I don’t think there was a dry eye among the attendees.

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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USDA’s Northey Kicks Off Alltech ONE18

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After the opening entertainment, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey was first to take the stage Monday morning at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was just discussing the issue of agricultural trade with China when President Trump tweeted “China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!”

“The opportunities to be able to grow in that market are important,” said Northey in an interview after his address. “It was also important for us to challenge where they were not following through on some of the promises that they made and the rules that they had agreed to.”

After meetings between U.S. and Chinese officials last week, the White House released a statement saying that, “China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services….Both sides agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports. The United States will send a team to China to work out the details.”

In addition to trade, Northey hit on a number of other topics during his address to the annual Alltech conference, including agricultural innovation, conservation, the farm bill, and renewable fuels.

Northey comments on all of that and more in this interview. Interview with USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey, ONE18

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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Got Milk? Got Jobs.

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The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have announced a new “Got Jobs? Dairy Creates Jobs, Exports Create More” campaign to spotlight dairy’s contribution to the health of the U.S. economy.

The campaign will share stories featuring hardworking dairy farmers, innovative dairy company employees, resourceful retailers and many others throughout the food supply chain at The site will offer monthly features, videos and plenty of hard facts that demonstrate dairy’s continued impact on jobs, tax revenue and communities around the country. Using #GotDairyJobs, the dairy industry will amplify the campaign and create the dairy jobs conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The groups held a virtual news conference to announce the campaign with IDFA president and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M.; USDEC president and CEO Tom Vilsack; and NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern. Got Dairy Jobs campaign announcement

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Animal Ag Bites 5/21

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  • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 5 new members and 12 returning members to the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa joined a bipartisan group of senators, led by Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, to urge U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure Mexico honors its existing trade commitments and rejects the EU’s unfair trade proposal that will harm American cheese exporters, processors and dairy farmers.
  • Vermeer has created the next step in their processor evolution with the new BPX9010 bale processor. This all-around bale processor is designed for a variety of applications including distributing a consistent, uniform windrow in the pasture or bunk line and spreading bedding with consistency at ranges up to 50 ft.
  • The American Dairy Association of the Midwest, Illinois Chapter and their constituency of 600 Illinois dairy farm families announced a partnership with the UpField Group to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy, specifically, solar energy usage on dairy farms.
  • The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the Nation’s leading multi-stakeholder beef sustainability group, announced a new Board of Directors and Executive Officer group during the recent Fourth Annual General Assembly Meeting in Oklahoma City.
  • The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, announced its seventh annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners during a May 16 ceremony at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill., outside of Chicago. The program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the well-being of people, animals and the planet.
  • The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has agreed with a request from the National Pork Producers Council to review Thailand’s eligibility for the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program because of that country’s failure to provide access to its market for U.S. products, including pork.
  • The 2018 USPOULTRY Human Resources Seminar addressed a variety of topics that are impacting human resources professionals in today’s environment. In addition to regulatory updates, recruitment and retention were also discussed at great length.
  • Brookside Agra will feature its swine-specific products at World Pork Expo Booth #V808, June 6-8 in Des Moines, IA. For over 30 years, Brookside Agra has been a trusted source for safe, effective, all-natural feed additives and environmental, agricultural and animal health products.
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Alltech ONE 18 – the Disruption Continues

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ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 kicked off Sunday night with the traditional international dinner, but the real work starts this morning and Alltech Vice President Aidan Connolly says they will be focusing on ideas that are disrupting the industry.

“Some things you might not think about so much include 3-D printing, we are starting to see that more and more for machinery parts,” said Connolly. “We’ve been talking a lot about what could be possible with respect to virtual reality, to engage consumers.”

The conference will also feature five of the Pearse Lyons Accelerator program participants who will showcase some of their ideas that could transform agriculture.

Learn more in this pre-event interview with Aidan. Interview Alltech vice president Aidan Connolly on ONE18

Chuck and Jamie are on-scene at the conference and will be providing updates on @AgWired Twitter, taking lots of photos and sending back lots of interviews. One of the first this morning will be USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Bill Northey. Stay tuned for more!

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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Farm Bill Defeated in the House

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House Agriculture Committee Chair Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) delivered on his promise to get a farm bill written in a timely manner, but his colleagues in the House voted 198-213 Friday to reject his effort.

Prior to the vote, Rep. Conaway expressed his frustration as a last minute amendment was introduced to recommit the bill with instructions to the Committee on Agriculture. “You can love the farm bill or you can hate the farm bill but it delivers the most effective, affordable and safest food and fiber supply of any developed nation in the world,” said Conaway.

Democrats voted against the bill mainly for changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aimed at getting able-bodied adults under 60 without dependents or disabilities back to work, but it was 30 conservative Republicans wanting a vote on immigration that killed the bill.

Listen to Rep. Conaway’s remarks here: House Ag Chair Rep. Conaway

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ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018

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The transformative power of ideas is the focus of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018, May 20–22, in Lexington, Kentucky

An idea, even in its root meaning, is “to see.” Da Vinci, Einstein, Edison, the Wright brothers, Tesla, Bell, Borlaug and Fleming — they had the ability to see what others could not. Because they opened their eyes to possibilities and thrived in pursuit of them, we have light. We have abundant food. We can even fly. Ideas change everything.

The annual Alltech symposium, which draws thousands of international visitors to Lexington each May, is the brain child of Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech, who passed away earlier this year. “This meeting is synonymous with Pearse Lyons,” says his son Dr. Mark Lyons, who is now president and chairman of Alltech. “All the way through, this program will be remembering him.”

The program includes former vice chair of General Electric Beth Comstock, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey and groundbreaking neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi. Four thousand attendees from more than 70 countries are expected to attend this year’s 34th annual conference.

Learn more about ONE and this year’s program in this preview interview: Dr. Mark Lyons previews Alltech ONE 18

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

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Cattlemen’s Webinar Looks at Sustainability

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The next event in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattlemen’s Webinar Series will focus on sustainability. Specifically, the webinar will be an opportunity to learn from fellow cattlemen about the recently released Sustainability Framework.

Produced through a U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef working group process, the framework includes real world tools specific to farms, ranches and feedyards. Hear more about these resources and your opportunity to comment on how they could be improved. There will be Q&A with presenters at the end of the webinar.

The webinar is schedule for Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. Central time. Register here.

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