UK Coach Honored with Alltech Humanitarian Award

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

rebelation15-309-editedJohn Calipari, head men’s basketball coach for the University of Kentucky, received Alltech’s prestigious 2015 Humanitarian Award for his extensive work in Haiti. Dr. Pearse Lyons presented it to him on his home court at Rupp Arena while addressing the congregation of attendees at REBELation.

Known as a “dream maker,” Calipari has guided six college basketball teams to the Final Four, led one to a national championship and helped dozens of players make it to play professionally for the NBA during his 23-year college coaching career.

“The state’s mission for me is to win titles; my mission is greater,” he said. “My mission is to be a vehicle to help others reach their dreams, to be the stone that creates the ripple in their lives that goes on and on.”

“What is your why? Why are you doing this? What do you want your life to be? At the end of the day, why are you living your life?” It doesn’t matter what team you root for, Coach Cal had us all motivated once he walked off the stage. He reminded us that “leaders are not born. Leadership is more about serving everyone beneath you.”

Listen to Coach Calipari’s complete remarks and Q & A with Dr. Lyons here: Remarks from Coach John Caplipari, UK Basketball

Don’t forget to check out photos from the event here: 2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio

Dairy Groups Against More Food Name Restrictions

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 2.11.09 PMThe National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USEC) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) jointly thanked the U.S. delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Diplomatic Conference on the Lisbon Agreement for calling attention to the treaty changes that could impair the ability of companies worldwide to use generic food terms in export markets.

The three organizations urged the U.S. Trade Representative to evaluate the degree to which countries’ actions under the agreement are likely to violate World Trade Organization obligations and called on Congress to examine the deeply troubling side-lining of a majority of WIPO members in the development of an agreement with global ramifications. Geographical indications limit who can use certain product terms or names to those in a particular geographic area.

During the two-week diplomatic conference in Geneva, the United States led a 12-nation coalition in opposing the Lisbon Agreement changes and in urging equal participation rights for all WIPO members in considering the changes. In a radical departure from multiple precedents, WIPO chose to permit Lisbon Agreement members to deny meaningful participation to the majority of WIPO members.

“The treaty and its proposed changes are clearly aimed at preventing competitors such as dairy producers and processors in the United States and other non-European countries from using names in international trade that they have used for decades,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “We appreciate and commend the extensive work the office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, along with the departments of State and Agriculture, have put into opposing these changes and in decrying WIPO’s refusal to allow all members to have a full say in the outcome of this agreement.”

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Ag Group, Dairy, Export, Food

To Be A REBEL…Think Future

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

rebelation15-38-editedWhat does it mean to be a REBEL? Aidan Connolly, Alltech’s Chief Innovation Officer said to him a rebel stood for R – Revolutionize, E – Evaluate, B – Business, E – Environment and L – Legacy.

All key elements of Alltech REBELation were focused on the future. Aidan said we all need to future-proof our businesses. “The marketplace is changing dramatically. You have to be aware of how things will change.” He added that the population isn’t driving the increase demand for food, it is income.

“Look at your businesses, see what you can do differently, presume that doing it the same way isn’t going to be good enough. People have come away with a tremendous number of new ideas and I feel implementing one, two or three of them would make them a huge success.”

Aidan also spoke to beef and dairy producers on current market trends, what the future might hold for each and the importance of embracing technology. Listen to more on that in my complete interview and learn about how you too can be a REBEL here: Interview with Aidan Connolly, Alltech

Don’t forget to check out photos from the event here: 2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio, Beef, Dairy

You Could Be Next Eggland’s Best CEO

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 3.24.02 PMThe entry period for the Eggland’s Best “2015 CEO Search” Contest is coming to an end. Visit the Eggland’s Best website today to learn how you can become the next Eggland’s Best “CEO.”

Eggland’s Best fans have until May 24, 2015 to showcase their egg-ceptional “CEO” qualities by filling out and submitting a four question entry form. Candidates who demonstrate a passion and knowledge of Eggland’s Best eggs will have a chance to win cash prizes, a supply of Eggland’s Best eggs, and the coveted “CEO” title.

“This year’s potential candidates have not only shown incredible enthusiasm for the brand, but have also demonstrated an appreciation and knowledge of the nutritional benefits EB eggs offer our customers,” says Charles Lanktree, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eggland’s Best. “We encourage everyone who has a passion for Eggland’s Best to enter, while there’s still time”

The top three “CEO” candidates will move on as Finalists and will be featured on the Eggland’s Best website, giving consumers the chance to get to know them. From July 7th to September 1st, consumers can visit the Eggland’s Best website and vote for their favorite “CEO” candidate.

The 2015 Eggland’s Best “CEO” will be revealed in September. The Grand Prize winner will receive the honorary title of “Chief Egg Officer,” a $5,000 cash prize, a nutrition consultation with the world-renowned Nutrition Twins Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, and a year’s supply of Eggland’s Best eggs. The two runners-up will each receive a $500 cash prize and a six month supply of Eggland’s Best eggs.

Agribusiness, Competition, Eggs

Think Differently to Become a REBEL

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.18.35 AMAlltech REBELation is in the books, but that doesn’t mean our wheels should stop spinning. This week attendees have been sent home with a challenge. A challenge to see the world as it is by embracing risks, taking action and seeing rewards. Dr. Pearse Lyons told us to “do what makes our hearts sing” and to “never say never.” Innovation is at our finger tips. Dr. Mark Lyons reminded us that in order to be REBELS we have to welcome technology, seek collaboration and remember speed matters.

Elizabeth Bagby, Corporate Marketing Manager, Alltech sat down with me as the event wrapped up announcing that over 3,000 attendees helped make the event a success, while representing 68 countries. “For years in agriculture we have said we will just tell the consumer what they want and that’s just not the world of today. The world of today is them telling us what they want and us telling them how we can make it different and maybe offering something in advance of them telling us.”

She believes part of being a REBEL is thinking differently and giving the consumers not only what they want now, but what they will want in the future. “We have people who are going to challenge us in different ways. The comments I am hearing now are, what can I do personally, how can I bring this to my own operation so we can make positive change to feeding the world.”

The Alltech team has already started thinking about next year, so it’s not too early to go ahead and mark your calendars for May 22-25, 2016. A conference doesn’t have to be boring and Alltech events are far from boring. I have no doubt next year’s conference will be bigger and better than ever before.

Listen to my complete interview with Elizabeth here: Interview with Elizabeth Bagby, Alltech

Don’t forget to check out photos from the event here: 2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio

Iowa Joins Growing List of States Banning Bird Exhibits

John Davis Leave a Comment

ai-updateAs the avian flu crisis continues throughout the poultry raising community, Iowa is the latest in a growing number of states to ban birds at fairs, livestock auctions, swap meets and exotic sales. The state joins several others, including North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and New York, to cancel all live bird exhibitions. This news release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture says the ban is immediate and lasts through the end of this year.

Iowa has over 25 million birds and more than 60 farms impacted by H5N2 highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The purpose of the Department’s directive is to minimize the risk of potential further spread of the virus to other poultry. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health consider the risk to the public related to HPAI H5 infections to be very low. No human infections of the virus have ever been detected and there is no food safety risk for consumers.

“We are asking producers and bird owners to increase their biosecurity measures and we feel this is a needed step to further minimize the risk of spreading the virus,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “The scale of this outbreak has been unprecedented, so we think it is important we take every possible step to limit the chance that this disease will spread any further.”

Department officials are working with state fair and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach officials to address the issue.

Agribusiness, avian flu, Chicken, Disease, Poultry

What Should Congress Do About COOL?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is your favorite type of craft beer?”

We have a very wide array of results from out most recent ZimmPoll. It is clear all these craft brews are needed to satisfy all our taste buds. Wheat topped our poll, but after attending the recent Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest, I’m a big fan of a Kolsch. The 2nd annual event brought in over 4,000 attendees tasting 180 different beers from 51 breweries. 350 beers entered the Alltech Commonwealth Cup competition, but there was only one winner. Batch 100, a Belgian-style ale filtered, tank conditioned and made with candy sugar from The Dayton Beer Company of Dayton, Ohio took home the 2015 trophy.

alltech-brewsHere are the poll results:

  • IPA – 12%
  • Amber Ale – 15%
  • Stout – 9%
  • Porter – 4%
  • Barley Wine – 2%
  • Brown Ale – 0%
  • American Pale Ale – 3%
  • Wheat – 18%
  • Belgium – 3%
  • Bourbon Barrel Ale – 4%
  • Bock – 5%
  • Kolsch – 0%
  • Irish Red Ale – 2%
  • All of the above – 9%
  • Other – 14%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What should Congress do about COOL?

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) has been a hot topic in ag circles for quite some time, but this week especially. The House Agriculture Committee approved legislation to effectively repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork, and chicken. Now it is time for Congress to decide the fate of COOL. Where do you stand on this issue?


California Dairy Farmer Protects Blackbirds

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

blackbirdA dairy farmer from Tipton, California was recognized for his work in protecting the Tricolored Blackbird. Frank Mendonsa is the President of Western United Dairymen and the owner of the silage fields that became a temporary nesting grounds for the emergency-listed birds. Mendonsa delayed his harvest to allow the birds to raise their young.

“When the birds first appeared on my property this spring, I didn’t know what kind they were,” said Mendonsa. “Once it was pointed out to me how few of these birds are left in the world and how many were on my property, I was very moved. I could see how much they needed my help and protection to build back their populations, so I have taken it upon myself to ensure their safety on this farm.”

Conservation partners working with Mendonsa to find win-win solutions for farmers and the imperiled birds include Audubon California, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), California Farm Bureau, Dairy Cares, Sustainable Conservation, and Western United Dairymen.

Entering its third year, NRCS and Audubon California have helped farmers who have Tricolored Blackbirds nesting in their fields by providing incentive payments to delay harvest until the young birds have fledged. Over the past three years, farmers’ participation in this initiative has resulted in nesting success for tens of thousands of birds. Currently, there are five contracts with dairy farmers that have nesting colonies in their fields.

Conservation, Dairy, environment, NRCS

Alltech Announces Young Scientist Awards

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Alltech Young ScientistsDuring the Alltech REBELation the 2015 Alltech Young Scientist Awards were presented. Dr. Aoife Lyons, director of educational initiatives at Alltech, and Dr. Inge Russell, director of the AYS program, presented the awards.

Two university students received awards in the 10th annual Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) program, the largest global contest of its kind that rewards scientific genius and experimental application in agri-science. Students were challenged to submit research studies that demonstrate a keen awareness of science and its applications for improving the future of the world, specifically through agriculture.

Rafal Bialek, a student at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (pictured on right), Poland, won the undergraduate division.

Bialek said, “I am very glad and proud of getting this award. It means that my work is worth something.”

His topic was using photosynthesis to make solar cells. He developed a method for attaching proteins extracted from purple bacteria to titanium dioxide, a widely used compound (for example, as a white dye in paints). Constructed cells, he said, can be utilized to convert solar energy into a current and can be used as a biosensor to detect environmental threats, such as herbicides in water.

Alltech Young ScientistsXiaoqiu (Churchill) Wang, who attends Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, was the graduate winner.

“Worldwide recognition of my current research keeps me inspired,” said Wang, adding that his long-term goal is to be an independent scientist “who makes a seminal discovery that makes a world of difference.”

The goal of his AYS research was to solve what he called “the long-time ignored and mysterious role of high levels of fructose during pregnancy.”

A panel of agriculture industry leaders selected eight finalists from an initial field of nearly 9,000 registrants from 62 countries. The graduate winner received $10,000, and the undergraduate winner received $5,000. Alltech also recognized 46 regional and local award winners, who received up to $2,000 each.

2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Education

Kansas State Develops Bird Flu Vaccines

John Davis Leave a Comment

avianflu1Kansas State University researchers have developed vaccines against two new strains of bird flu that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. This news release from the school says the strains targeted have led to the culling of millions of commercial chickens and turkeys as well as the death of hundreds of people.

The new vaccine development method is expected to help researchers make vaccines for emerging strains of avian influenza more quickly. This could reduce the number and intensity of large-scale outbreaks at poultry farms as well as curb human transmission.

It also may lead to new influenza vaccines for pigs, and novel vaccines for sheep and other livestock, said Jürgen Richt, Regents distinguished professor of veterinary medicine and director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases.

Richt and his colleagues focused on the avian influenza virus subtype H5N1, a new strain most active in Indonesia, Egypt and other Southeast Asian and North African countries. H5N1 also has been documented in wild birds in the U.S., though in fewer numbers.

“H5N1 is a zoonotic pathogen, which means that it is transmitted from chickens to humans,” Richt said. “So far it has infected more than 700 people worldwide and has killed about 60 percent of them. Unfortunately, it has a pretty high mortality rate.”

Researchers were also successful in developing a vaccine effective against the avian flu subtype H7N9, an emerging zoonotic strain that has been circulating in China since 2013. China has reported about 650 cases in humans and Canada has reported two cases in people returning from China. About 230 people have died from H7N9.

Agribusiness, avian flu, Research