ANIMART Adds Territory Manager

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Denise SuttonANIMART, Inc. announces the recent addition of Denise Sutton to the outside sales department of the dairy and livestock division which provides animal health products, supplies and solutions to producers.

Sutton gained exposure to the dairy industry as a young girl visiting her grandparent’s dairy farm and helping them out wherever she could. She brings these experiences as well as her time spent as a herdswoman and farm owner to a position involving visiting farms, building relationships with producers and providing them with solutions to problems she has often faced herself.

In addition to her time spent on-farm working with the animals, Sutton has been a vital contributor to the dairy industry in other positions as well. She has worked in sales and service for a number of prominent companies in the dairy industry.

“Her combination of on-farm and sales experience was just what we were looking for,” said Dan Ellsworth, President of ANIAMRT. “She will be able to provide our producers with insight that few others can.”

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Beef, Dairy, Livestock Jamie JohansenANIMART Adds Territory Manager

NPPC Comments on Breakdown of TPP Talks

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

nppcA breakdown in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) last week is a good news/bad news situation for the National Pork Producers Council.

“The Japanese left the meeting, so the TPP continues at an impasse,” said NPPC Vice President and Counsel for International Affairs Nick Giordano. “From NPPC’s vantage point, we’d rather there be no deal than a bad deal for pork producers.”

At the same time, Giordano says NPPC is disappointed in Japan’s continuing rejection of the fundamental terms of a successful TPP agreement, as agreed upon by leaders of all participating TPP nations prior to Japan’s entry into the negotiations last year. “Japan was not a founding member,” said Giordano. “Japan’s position is out of step with the vision of the trade ministers when they launched TPP.”

Japan continues to demand exemptions from tariff elimination for a number of agricultural products, declaring pork, dairy, beef, wheat, barley, sugar and rice are “sacred” and not open to free trade under the TPP. “They’re not sacred,” said Giordano. “The reality is, every country has import sensitive products, including the United States.”

Acquiescing to Japan’s demand would represent a radical departure from past U.S. trade policy, which has held to the principle that free trade agreements must cover virtually all trade between the parties. “This is a landscape-changing, legacy issue so NPPC is putting a lot of resources into protecting the interests of pork producers,” Giordano said.

Giorgano explains the issue in detail in this interview: Interview with Nic Giordano, NPPC

Audio, NPPC, Pork, Trade Cindy ZimmermanNPPC Comments on Breakdown of TPP Talks

Visiting Angus Farm in Scotland

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Angus CattleThe sound in this video clip is music to my ears. How about you? During the 2014 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress I visited the Wattie family on their farm, Mains of Tonley near Alford, in Scotland. This was right after we saw an angus bull statue commemorating the beginning of the Aberdeen Angus breed.

After listening to a presentation on the breed and the current state of the livestock industry we walked out into a field with lots of mama cows and their babies. Some of us got up close and personal and I got a lesson in how to shoot a good photo from Harlan Persinger, well-known farm photographer! I hope he approves of this one.

2014 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Cattle, International, Video Chuck ZimmermanVisiting Angus Farm in Scotland

“2,000 Bull Project” Targets Cattle Traits

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USDA_logoU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are investigating methods to help beef cattle producers further improve genetic evaluations for routinely measured traits such as growth and calving ease. They are also targeting economically important traits like feed efficiency and disease resistance that are expensive or difficult to measure.

In 2007, scientists started the “2,000 Bull Project” at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska, to study relationships between genomic variation and economically important traits in 16 breeds. ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.

USMARC geneticists Mark Thallman and Larry Kuehn and their colleagues worked with U.S. cattle breed associations to obtain genomic profiles of 2,000 bulls from those 16 breeds to promote the development of genomic predictions. For each breed, the project provided the first substantial set of high-density genotypes, which are being used by breed associations as a starting point to incorporate genomic data into their breed improvement programs.

Read More

Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, Genetics, usda Jamie Johansen“2,000 Bull Project” Targets Cattle Traits

Hogs and Pigs Down Two Percent

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

hogsThe latest report from USDA shows another drop in the hogs and pigs inventory from a year ago, but an increase from last quarter.

As of September 1, there were 65.4 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, down 2 percent from September 2013, but up 6 percent from June 1, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Other key findings in the report were:
Of the total, 59.4 million were market hogs, 5.92 million for breeding.
Between June and August 2014, 29.5 million pigs were weaned, down 1 percent from last year.
U.S. hog producers intend to farrow 2.89 million sows next quarter.
U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 10.16 pigs per litter.

With 20.7 million head, Iowa hog producers had the largest inventory among the states. North Carolina and Minnesota had the second and third largest inventories with 8.4 million and 7.7 million head, respectively. While the national hogs and pigs inventory is down from September 2013, growers in Texas and South Dakota have increased the number of hogs and pigs in their states.

Swine, usda Cindy ZimmermanHogs and Pigs Down Two Percent

USPOULTRY Recognizes Company’s with Clean Water Awards

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

uspKoch Foods of Gadsden, Ala., and Tyson Foods of Wilkesboro, N.C., have been awarded the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) 2014 Clean Water Award. Presented annually, the award recognizes exemplary performance at water reclamation facilities serving the poultry industry. The presentations were made during USPOULTRY’s Environmental Management Seminar in Destin, Fla., and the winners were selected by a committee of industry engineers and managers, university personnel and retired state regulatory officials.

Awards are presented in two categories, full treatment and pretreatment. The full treatment category covers facilities that fully reclaim wastewater prior to discharge into a receiving stream or final land application system. The pretreatment category includes facilities that discharge pretreated effluent to publicly-owned, full treatment facilities. To be eligible, a facility must have a minimum of two years of no significant non-compliances or notices of violations or any other type of enforcement action.

Koch Foods’ Gadsden facility processes 400,000 birds per day and treats an average wastewater flow of one million gallons per day. The facility’s covered anaerobic lagoon provides odor control and traps methane gas. Not only does this reduce the plant’s carbon footprint, but the gas is a source of green energy utilized and burned in the plant’s boiler unit. One highlight of their operation is the facility’s water reuse program. Inside the plant, water used to chill and rinse the birds is cleaned and sent back to be reused in other areas. Koch Foods has also installed an additional Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) unit that reduces the concentration of phosphorus in the final effluent to less than 1mg/l. Koch Foods captures and treats stormwater runoff before discharging it, allowing it to achieve very low stormwater effluent bacterial levels.

Tyson Foods Fresh Retail Division Wilkesboro complex is made up of a poultry processing plant capable of processing two million birds per week and a food service plant producing primarily fabricated fully cooked products for restaurant and international customers. The complex’s wastewater facility treats an average flow of two and half million gallons per day. One focal point of the complex’s operation is the facilities water reuse program in which one and a half million gallons of water used to wash birds is cleaned and recycled back into various areas of the facility. To address the potential presence of bacteria in stormwater runoff, trenches have been constructed across the live haul and dust collector areas to divert stormwater to the wastewater treatment plant. The processing facility recently constructed additional stormwater collection pits to catch runoff from live sheds and receiving areas to provide additional treatment of stormwater runoff that comes in contact with live animal handling areas.

Ag Group, Poultry, Water Jamie JohansenUSPOULTRY Recognizes Company’s with Clean Water Awards

Start the Conversation: Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 10.28.44 PM“Start the Conversation: Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture” is the first in a new series of resources the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is launching to foster discussion on questions consumers have about food production and agriculture.

Modeled after quick-reference subject-area cards found in bookstores, the single-page, front and back laminated cards feature questions, answers and suggested strategies for meaningful discussion.

“Our goal is to help connect consumers with the men and women who produce their food, fiber and fuel – while giving them an opportunity to confidently discuss issues most important to them,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation.

The cards feature “farmer spotlights,” with real answers to important questions such as “Can animals be raised without antibiotics?” and “How are decisions made about animal care?”

Start the Conversation cards may be used to:
· Facilitate discussions about fact, fiction and the science of agriculture in middle- and high-school classrooms;
· Open discussions about food and farming at fairs and festivals; and
· Equip farmers and ranchers with science-based messages related to common consumer questions.

Order Start the Conversation: Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture cards online at (click on Resource Orders).

AFBF, Ag Group Jamie JohansenStart the Conversation: Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture

Zoetis Provides $1.3 Million to FFA, AABP, AAEP Programs

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

pfizerStudents involved with FFA, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Foundation and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation will once again benefit from the 2014 Zoetis Industry Support Program, which raised $1,353,874 this year. Through the support of veterinarians, animal health suppliers and dealer customers, the Industry Support Program provides support and resources for the future leaders in agriculture.

Between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2014, a portion of funds from eligible purchases of Zoetis cattle and equine products were directed to local FFA chapters, and veterinary student scholarships through AABP and AAEP foundations. Since the program’s inception in 2008, it has raised more than $7.3 million.

The continued support of agricultural and veterinary students will benefit agriculture and help them on their journey with opportunities they might not otherwise experience.

“These students around the country are making a difference to improve the agriculture industry. The donations offered to them can leave a lasting effect on people and communities,” said Jeff Klose, an agriculture science teacher and department chair of career and technical education at Canyon High School in Texas. “The money from the Zoetis Industry Support Program helps students inform the public about agriculture.”

“The donations we receive from Zoetis contribute to a huge economic impact in our community and develop into much more than the primary dollar amount of the donation,” Klose said. “Each dollar received from Zoetis will turn itself into much more through the programs we employ in our FFA chapter.”

“It’s important for student veterinarians to receive the support of practitioners because they are excited to learn and develop hands-on experience, yet so often it is lacking due to lack of resources,” said Gina Camarata, a student at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and a member of the AAEP. “With commitment from practitioners, whether through allocation of time and talent to teaching, or contribution of scholarship funds, students are able to take advantage of opportunities to blossom as upcoming veterinarians.”

Support of FFA, the AABP Foundation and the AAEP Foundation is a component of Commitment to Veterinarians™, a Zoetis initiative supporting veterinarians through training and education, research and development, and investing in the future of the veterinary profession.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, FFA, Youth Jamie JohansenZoetis Provides $1.3 Million to FFA, AABP, AAEP Programs

Beef Forage Day in North Florida

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

North Florida Research and Education CenterNorth Florida ranchers are being prodded to attend this year’s annual Beef and Forage Day at the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna on Friday, Oct. 3.

All things bull and cow, along with what to feed them, will be discussed. In addition, REC leaders will be showing off a new $275,000 cattle fence and gate. The Florida Cattlemen’s Association helped secure the project’s funding from state legislators.

“The pens, in addition to enhancing the safety of operations for our scientists, staff and animals, will augment the quality of our Bull Test program, cattle auctions, research projects and educational programs,” said Nicholas Comerford, NFREC director. “We are grateful to the Florida Cattlemen for their continued support and confidence in the NFREC.”

Comerford, also a member of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty, said the Bull Test program, which is meant to increase the quality of North Florida cattle, has added an additional $58 per head to calves sired by Bull Test-evaluated bulls. The Florida Bull Test program was established at the NFREC in 1999.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., Central Daylight Time, with programs kicking off at 9 a.m., including Fertilization Options for Bahiagrass Demonstration and Scouting and Controlling Pests in Pastures. There is a $10 registration fee and lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Ag Group, Beef, Education, Forage Jamie JohansenBeef Forage Day in North Florida

Alliance to Increase College Aggies Online Scholarships

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

aaaThanks to the generous support of Fair Oaks Pig Adventure and Belstra Milling—the Animal Agriculture Alliance announced that it would be increasing the scholarship awards for its 6th annual College Aggies Online Competition, which began last Monday. CAO helps college students, with an interest in agriculture, become confident, positive and proactive communicators for the entire industry.

The Alliance will be doubling individual scholarship amounts with the first prize award increasing from $2,500.00 to a $5,000.00 scholarship this year. Similarly, the second and third prizes for the individual competition will increase to $2,500.00 and $1,000.00, respectively. Additionally, the Alliance will be adding a scholarship award in the amount of $1,000.00 for the third place club.

“With nearly 200 individual students and more than 35 ag clubs signed up to compete—totaling more than 1000 CAO participants collectively–we feel it’s even more important to reward these ambitious students with larger scholarships,” said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. “Given the cost of a college tuition nowadays, we know these scholarship amounts are nothing to scoff at and are so grateful that the program’s sponsors have made these increases possible.”

This year, the Alliance staff has collaborated intimately with the program’s sponsors, the newest of which is Fair Oaks Farms/Belstra Milling Inc., to devise challenges and ensure that student participants remain engaged, motivated and dedicated to becoming proactive communicators and #agvocates on behalf of the industry.

“At Fair Oaks Farms we work hard to provide consumers with a fun-filled, first-hand look at modern agriculture,” said Leah Lentini, Corporate Liaison, Belstra Milling Company. “We are excited to partner with the CAO program as they train the next generation of industry professionals and help them understand the critical importance of engaging with consumers in an honest, transparent, and meaningful way.”

Ag Group, Animal Ag Alliance, Education, Social Media Jamie JohansenAlliance to Increase College Aggies Online Scholarships