Proposed Tax Regulation Threaten Multigen Cattle Operations

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-200The Internal Revenue Service hosted a public hearing this week on a Department of Treasury proposed rule that would eliminate or greatly reduce available valuation discounts for family-related entities. Kevin Kester, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president, said the regulation would effectively discourage families from continuing to operate or grow their businesses and passing them on to future generations.

Many cattle operations are family-owned small businesses, facing the same concerns as other small-businesses – making payroll, complying with numerous federal and state regulations, and paying bills, loans, and taxes. However, cattle producers face a number of unique challenges specific to agriculture.

“Ranching is a debt-intensive business, making the U.S. livestock industry especially vulnerable to the estate tax,” said Kester. “Beef producers largely operate an asset-rich, cash-poor business model: a cattleman’s biggest asset is his land. In the event of the death of a principal family member, illiquid assets are often sold in order to meet the costs associated with the estate tax. As a result, many families are unable to keep their estates intact.”

For more than two decades, livestock producers have utilized legitimate valuation discounts as a means of maintaining family ownership. These discounts, which accurately reflect the actual market value of minority ownerships in closely-held businesses, reduce the tax burden at death allowing agricultural operations to maintain family ownership from one generation of producers to the next.

“Should the discounts be eliminated, a significant number of farmers and ranchers will face an even greater tax burden during the difficult task of transferring minority interests to the next generation,” said Kester. “Having dealt with the death tax on multiple occasions, I can assure you that it’s not easy to settle the estate of a loved one while coping with the loss of that loved one. To add insult to injury, the proposed rule will upend succession plans, halt planned expansion and growth, and require a majority of livestock operations to liquidate assets in order to simply survive from one generation to the next.”

Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, Government, Livestock, NCBA, Policy

Alltech Marketing Selenium-Enriched Eggs in Mongolia

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

alltech Tumen Shuvuut, one of the largest layer companies in Mongolia, announced in a press conference that the company will begin marketing selenium-enriched eggs made with Sel-Plex organic selenium to Mongolian consumers nationwide.

During the press conference, held in conjunction with the Public Health Institute of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar, the company explained that the selenium egg is being launched to help alleviate a persistent selenium deficiency in the Mongolian diet that was identified in a recent study by the country’s Ministry of Health.

The new product will be available in supermarkets and other retail outlets beginning in December. Alltech will continue to provide technical and other assistance to Tumen Shuvuut as they introduce this first-ever selenium-enriched egg to be marketed in Mongolia.

“Based on trials conducted with our flock using Sel-Plex, the research reports showed that the 0.5-ppm enriched eggs were more likely to offset the selenium deficiency in the Mongolian population,” said Mr. Bold Jigjid, CEO of Tumen Shuvuut LLC. “We were very satisfied with the outcome of the trial with Alltech, and we look forward to producing eggs that will benefit the Mongolian people.”

“Working with Alltech, we wish to deliver a positive message about the benefits of selenium to the general public,” continued Jigjid. “Consumers are demanding better food, and partnering with Alltech allows us to deliver enriched foods. We want consumers to understand how important selenium is for the human body.”

Addressing the press conference in Ulaanbaatar, Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech global vice president and head of Greater China, noted that Alltech has been working on the enrichment of food products with Sel-Plex for more than 15 years.

“Our organic form of selenium is able to support the immune system of the animal during production while also differentiating the final product in the market and contributing to human health,” said Lyons. “We are delighted to work with Tumen Shuvuut and to have the opportunity to highlight the benefits of selenium-enriched foods in Mongolia.”

Agribusiness, Alltech, Eggs, International, Nutrition

Glen Fisher Earns Wool Excellence Award

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ASI_logoGlen Fisher was selected as the 2017 winner of the American Sheep Industry (ASI) Association Wool Roundtable’s Wool Excellence Award and will be honored at the ASI Annual Convention in Denver.

The former ASI President (2009-10) didn’t know a thing about sheep before meeting and eventually marrying Linda McBride at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He gave up his economist job soon thereafter and moved Linda back to her family’s ranch near Sonora, Texas, and thus his education in the sheep industry began. Fisher took over management of the Sonora Wool and Mohair Company and spent the next 16 years balancing a town job with ranch life.

“It was one of the largest wool warehouses in the U.S. at the time,” Fisher recalled. “I’ve been a strong proponent of wool ever since my time there at the warehouse. In 1993 or 1994, I came back to the ranch full time and I’ve been ranching ever since. The only other job I’ve had in that time was a series of free jobs in the sheep industry.”

Those “free” jobs included serving as secretary/treasurer, vice president and president for ASI, leading ASI’s Wool Council and serving on the Wool Roundtable. Fisher was also president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association and still serves on the boards of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center and the Sheep Heritage Foundation. Also still a member of the Wool Roundtable, he abstained from the vote when members nominated him for the Wool Excellence Award.

Ag Group, ASI, Sheep, Wool

2016 Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

alltechThe 2016 Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School, “What’s your score?” will bring dairy producers and Packers fans together to focus on metrics. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss financial success, technology, fertility and techniques for ensuring cows have a good start. The event is set for December 15, 2016 from 8:10am to 4pm at Lambeau Field Atrium, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Former Green Bay Packers player, Nick Collins, will talk on building a plan to achieve success. Producer presentations will include: Brent Copenhaver, “Strategies for a Successful Expansion,” owner, Villa Dale LLC; Karl Funk, “Focusing on Herd Health to Maximize Profits,” owner, Funk’s Midway Dairy; and Steve Whitesides. “Dairy Farming in Hawaii Versus Dairy Farming in Idaho”, owner, Whitesides Dairy Inc.

Other speakers and topics include:
– “MEASURING AND DETERMINING FINANCIAL SUCCESS” – Dr. Greg Bethard, CFO of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy and Dairy Dreams

To register for the event, please contact Emma Offenburger, Alltech Wisconsin on-farm development business coordinator, at or (920) 386-9651.

Agribusiness, Alltech, Cattle, Dairy, Education

Proposed Fact Panel Revisions for Meat & Poultry

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USDA_logoThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed updated nutritional information for meat and poultry products.

FSIS is proposing to amend the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products to parallel the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final nutrition regulations, which were published on May 27, 2016. The proposed rule will improve the presentation of nutrition information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.

“This new rule will provide more transparency on nutrition labels so that American consumers can make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families,” said Alfred Almanza, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. “The new nutrition facts panel will complement the many other proactive, prevention-based food policies that we’ve put in place in recent years.”

Specifically, FSIS is proposing to:
– Update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared;
– Provide updated Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
– Amend the labeling requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of 4 years and pregnant women and lactating women and establish nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups;
– Revise the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label;
– Amend the definition of a single-serving container;
– Require dual-column labeling for certain containers;
– Update and modify several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs or reference amounts); and
– Consolidate the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part.

Ag Group, Food, Meat, Nutrition, Poultry, usda

Improve Immune Response With Innovator Vaccines

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Zoetis_Logo Equine vaccine combinations that include West Nile virus and equine influenza/equine herpesvirus (rhino) antigens in a single formulation are convenient, but they may sacrifice a horse’s immunity, according to research. A study showed that separate administration of Zoetis’ West Nile-Innovator and Fluvac Innovator generated four times the immune response to West Nile virus than was produced by a big one-shot combination vaccine.

West Nile-Innovator and Fluvac Innovator are the gold standard for horse owners and veterinarians. Innovator is the only brand of vaccines adjuvanted with MetaStim, a proprietary adjuvant system designed for safe, enhanced presentation of antigens to the horse’s immune system, featuring a dual-phase formulation shown to stimulate both cell-mediated and humoral immunity to West Nile virus for improved immune responses.

“Dividing antigens into concurrent, separate injections may help increase the horse’s immune response to West Nile.” said Kevin Hankins, DVM, senior veterinarian, Equine Technical Services, Zoetis. “While big one-shot combination vaccines may offer convenience, when developing vaccine programs for West Nile virus protection, veterinarians and horse owners should consider the implications of lower West Nile virus antibody responses in horses vaccinated with a West Nile virus combination vaccine. Though combination vaccines may provide some convenience, optimization of West Nile virus immune response could likely pose a substantial criterion for vaccine selection.”

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Vaccination Guidelines recommend an evaluation of each individual horse’s situation and vaccinating according to his needs. Dividing West Nile and equine influenza/equine herpesvirus (rhino) vaccinations into separate injections allows tailoring of each horse’s vaccination program.

The Equine Immunization Support Guarantee from Zoetis, the most comprehensive guarantee available, delivers additional confidence in your equine vaccination program. With the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee, if a horse shows clinical signs for an equine disease for which he was vaccinated, Zoetis will help cover the diagnostic investigation to determine with what the horse is infected. If diagnostics confirm disease, Zoetis will also cover diagnostic and therapeutic charges up to $5,000. To be eligible, a horse must be vaccinated by a veterinarian.Diseases covered by the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee include: rhinopneumonitis (equine herpesvirus types 1 and 4, respiratory), West Nile, equine influenza, tetanus, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), Western equine encephalitis (WEE) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE).

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Equine, Horses, Vaccine, Zoetis

Abnormal Milk – What Is It Really Telling You? BIVI Explains

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-9-52-16-amBoehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc (BIVI) says visible abnormalities in the milk are often the first sign of mastitis. However, asks the question, “Should they also determine length of treatment?”

“Bacteria signal the immune system to produce inflammation, and her immune system goes to work eliminating the bacteria,” said Dr. Linda Tikofsky, Professional Services Veterinarian with BIVI. “Milk may look abnormal but when we culture, we may sometimes get a negative result, which means no bacteria are present. The cow’s immune system has already eliminated the bacteria.”

The standard practice on dairies is to treat until the inflammation is gone, which is why some five-day treatment regimens have become common. However, this may be leading producers to over-treat with antibiotics.

“We may effectively kill the bacteria within the first 24 to 48 hours of treatment, but the inflammation will go on another three or four days while the body eliminates the dead bacteria and white blood cells,” explained Tikofsky. “BIVI offers a tube with a two-treatment regimen that is effective at killing mastitis bacteria. However, the milk may still look abnormal at the time of the second treatment.”

Get the complete explanation for BIVI experts here.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cattle, Dairy, Mastitis

Costa Rica Removes Barriers for U.S. Beef & Pork

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

USMEF logo This week’s audio report from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) discusses the challenges that have made it difficult to ship chilled beef and pork to Costa Rica, a market of strong interest for U.S. meat exporters.

In the report, USMEF Technical Services Manager Cheyenne McEndaffer explains the unusual technical requirement behind the difficulty: the product had to arrive in the country within nine days of its packing date.

This requirement was recently removed after USMEF worked with industry partners and U.S. trade officials to address this issue and bring it to a successful conclusion. McEndaffer believes this will create more opportunities for high-quality beef and pork in Costa Rica.

McEndaffer also explains in the report that Costa Rica has removed an additional requirement that frozen U.S. beef and pork must arrive in the country within six months of its packing date.

Learn more in this week’s full report:
USMEF Report, Beef & Pork in Costa Rica

Ag Group, Audio, Beef, Export, Export, Pork, USMEF

EPA & Biofuels – What Do You Think?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What are you most thankful for this year?”

Family, friends, food and freedom…no doubt the simple majority shined in our Thanksgiving poll.

Here are the poll results:

  • Family – 13%
  • Friends – 3%
  • Food – 0%
  • Freedom – 0%
  • All of the above – 80%
  • Other – 3%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, Should EPA increase biofuels use?

EPA set final levels for biofuels use in 2017 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) last week that are in line with the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, calling for the maximum 15 million gallons of conventional ethanol for the first time and increasing volumes for biomass-based biodiesel. What’s your reaction to that?


November Dairy Market Report

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

dairy market reportCheckout the November issue of the National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Management Inc.’s Dairy Market Report.

Four straight months of rising milk prices and three straight months of falling feed costs have brought some financial relief to U.S. dairy producers from the tough conditions of early last summer. The average all-milk price moved from $14.50 per hundredweight last May to $17.30 in September, while the monthly Margin Protection Program (MPP) margin formula rose from $5.75 per hundredweight last June to $9.48 in September. The world dairy market and U.S. dairy export outlook also continue to brighten, but rising U.S. milk production is complicating the forecast for the coming year.

Ag Group, Dairy, Dairy Management Inc., Export, Milk, National Milk