President Signs Resolution to Repeal BLM Planning 2.0

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

The Public Lands Council (PLC) reports that President Trump has signed a congressional resolution directing the Bureau of Land Management to repeal their Planning 2.0 Rule. Ethan Lane, executive director of PLC and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) federal lands, applauded the action and called it a significant victory for western ranchers.

“BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule would have caused a wholesale shift in management focus at BLM by prioritizing ‘social and environmental change’ over ensuring the multiple use of public lands,” said Lane. “When you couple the wholesale shift away from multiple-use with the elimination of stakeholder and local input, the rule was unworkable for western communities. We applaud the action by President Trump and look forward to working with the new Administration to bring together a streamlined planning process that works for livestock ranchers and the western communities that depend on the use of BLM lands.”

Ag Group, Cattle, Government, Land, Livestock, PLC

DFA Annual Meeting Focuses on Pride in Dairy

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

More than 1,500 members and guests gathered in Kansas City for Dairy Farmers of America’s (DFA) 19th annual meeting, which emphasized what sets them apart and those ideals, values that matter most to members, leaders and employees.

“We’re proud of who we are and what we do, and we want to show the world why,” said Randy Mooney, chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. “We want to show them what’s behind our pride in our name, pride in our family farmer owners, pride in our businesses, pride in our products that deliver everyday simple pleasures to millions of consumers and pride in our role in society reflected in communities across the country.”

Mooney, who operates a dairy farm in Rogersville, Mo. and also serves as chairman of National Milk Producers Federation. He talked about the importance of the dairy community working together as well as the Cooperative’s ongoing efforts with trade negotiations and regulatory issues impacting the dairy industry.

DFA President and CEO Rick Smith highlighted financials for 2016 as well as how the Cooperative strives to take advantage of positive market trends, while also protecting its members from unpredictable market risks.

“Our dairy farmer members are at the heart of everything that we do at DFA, which is why we want to show the industry, as well as our customers and consumers, why being a part of DFA matters,” said Smith. “As we look to the future, we will continue to look for ways to maximize the milk check, while also identifying growth areas for our commercial businesses and providing on-farm services that make it easier and more profitable for our members to farm.”

Dairy, dairy farming, DFA

Animal Ag at Alltech’s #ONE17

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE17), held May 21–24 in Lexington, Kentucky, will inspire, motivate producers and prepare them for the future. The three-day conference will bring together industry experts from across the globe to share insights and solutions to today’s most pressing issues within agriculture.

To provide an opportunity for every corner of production agriculture to engage in disruption, ONE17 will include various tracks, including a focus session specifically dedicated to each segment in animal agriculture.

Beef production – Hear case studies from increasing carcass weight to profitable feeding strategies.

Swine production – Hear topics from covering nutrient delivery systems and remodeling pig barns to quantity versus quality efficiencies and global pork consumption.

Poultry production – Hear topics from covering in ovo techniques and the use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome modification to the effects of backyard farming and consumer meat preferences.

Dairy farmers – Hear topics from working through government regulations to discussing the dairy operation of the future.

Aqua production – Hear topics from consumer demand for sustainable, healthy farmed fish to the potential of seaweed.

Agribusiness, Alltech, Beef, Cattle, Chicken, Dairy, Meat, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry, Swine, Technology, Turkey

Farm Bureau President Talks #FarmBill18

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

President of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Zippy Duvall addressed the participants of the Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit last week. Using his best southern charm, Duvall addressed the issue of the upcoming farm bill, pointing out the different circumstances farmers and ranchers are in as the last bill was being written and the economic climate now.

“The biggest problem with this farm bill and writing the next farm bill will be resources,” Duvall emphasizes. “The baseline that the CBO has is not enough to have a good safety net for the food security of our country and that’s why at American Farm Bureau we’re asking for increases in that baseline so we can build a true farm bill that helps us through the next four years.”

Farmers and ranchers must remain aware of what it happening in the political area, Duvall asserts, sharing the story of two mules he once purchased to give rides to his kids. Turning his back on the animals, “Bill” and “Hillary,” ended in a wrecked wagon; disengaging in today’s political world will result in its own kind of disaster.

Listen to Zippy Duvall’s full remarks here: Zippy Duvall, AFBF

Photos can be found on the Agri-Pulse website.
Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit photos

Ag Group, Agri-Pulse, farm bill, Farm Bureau, Farm Policy

NutriQuest Adds to Swine Nutrition Team

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

NutriQuest welcomes new members to their swine nutrition team making a grand total of 10 swine nutritionists serving roles in nutrition consulting, product development and technical support.

Mark Newcomb, Ph.D., has joined as a Senior Swine Nutritionist. He will be responsible for assisting clients in enhancing and maintaining nutrition programs for their swine operations with the goal of helping them accomplish their production and financial objectives.

Nick Shelton, Ph.D., has joined also as a Swine Nutritionist. He will work with our Nutrition Solutions team and will be responsible for assisting clients in enhancing and maintaining nutrition programs for their swine operations with the goal of helping them accomplish their production and financial objectives.

Sarah Weiland, MS has joined as a Nutrition Technician. She will be responsible for assisting the swine nutrition team in developing custom nutrition programs for clients and working on special projects to advance NutriQuest product development and support the needs of customers.

Agribusiness, Nutrition, Swine

Animal Ag Calls for Withdrawal of GIPSA

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Animal agriculture organizations united last week when they called on USDA to withdraw the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act (GIPSA) interim final and proposed rules, labeled with the misleading title, Farmer Fair Practices Rules. Craig Uden, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president, said the rules stand to threaten market incentives, the quality of American beef the industry is known for, and will ultimately cost $954 million to the cattle industry.

“These rules are just as troubling as they were when USDA initially proposed them in 2010, after which Congress immediately stepped in to defund the rules, recognizing them as a flawed concept that limits producers’ ability to market their cattle and adding layers of crippling bureaucracy,” said Uden.

Citing grave concerns that they would “cause serious harm to the pork industry,” the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Ken Maschhoff, said “GIPSA’s one-size-fits-all approach would restrict livestock transactions, lead to consolidation of the livestock industry – putting farmers out of business – and increase consumer prices for meat. These regulations could impose staggering costs on the pork industry. The only people who would benefit from this heavy-handed government intrusion in the hog market are trial lawyers.”

The National Turkey Federation said these rules would would upend the contract relationships among growers and processors throughout the poultry business and detailed the increased uncertainty and unintended consequences that would outweigh any purported benefits.

Ag Group, Beef, Livestock, NCBA, NPPC, Pork, Poultry, Turkey

Aptimmune Receives Biotech Innovation Award

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Aptimmune Biologics was awarded this year’s Biotech Innovation Showcase’s Top Company Award at the 2017 Partnering for Growth Biotech Innovation Showcase & Forum that took place this week in Ankeny, Iowa.

At the Showcase, 12 emerging companies in four categories (agricultural technology, animal health, human health and bio materials) made formal presentations to a panel of eight business leaders from the fields of agricultural biotechnology, intellectual property, human health and small business development. Steve Berger, Aptimmune Biologic’s development director, made the award-winning presentation to the judges.

“We are pleased Aptimmune has been recognized as a bioscience leader by the Iowa Biotechnology Association. This award will only continue to inspire our employees to reach new levels of innovation in the animal health industry,” said Aaron Gilbertie, CEO of Aptimmune Biologics. “Being chosen as Top Company from this group of outstanding innovators says a great deal about the quality of work being done by Aptimmune. The Showcase was an excellent opportunity for our employees to network with other innovators and industry leaders and to highlight some of Aptimmune’s best and brightest ideas.”

Agribusiness, Animal Health, award, Biotech, Swine, Technology

Perdue Finally Gets Hearing

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Accompanied by his four children and 14 grandchildren, former Georgia Governor Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III finally had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday and will hopefully be confirmed shortly.

“I know there was some anxiety over whether there would be a secretary of agriculture nominee,” Perdue began. “I must say with all the humility I can muster that the president must have saved the best for last,” he joked.

Perdue’s hearing was brief and offered little drama, except a short interruption by an animal rights protester at the beginning of his opening statement. He outlined his four overall goals as agriculture secretary – to maximize opportunity of agriculture to create jobs, prioritize customer service every day, ensure a safe food supply, and protect the resources of the land.

“If confirmed, I look forward to working with the dedicated men and women of the USDA who are committed to serving the ‘People’s Department,'” said Perdue.

The nominee answered questions on a number of issues, including government regulations, trade, avian flu, and budget.

Listen to Perdue’s opening statement here: Sonny Perdue at confirmation hearing

Ag Group, Audio, usda

NCC Calls for Withdrawal of Interim GIPSA Rules

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

The National Chicken Council (NCC) filed several comments this week with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) explaining the numerous reasons why the agency’s interim final rule and proposed rules are ill-advised, would inflict billions of dollars of economic harm to American agriculture, exceed GIPSA’s statutory authority, and represent an arbitrary and capricious abuse of federal regulatory authority.

“GIPSA fails to provide an adequate justification for imposing such sweeping and detrimental changes to the poultry industry and does not explain corresponding benefits to counterbalance the billions of dollars of detrimental effects this proposal will have on the U.S. economy,” said NCC President Mike Brown in the comments. “The agency also fails even to consider the negative consequences for consumers, innovation, competition and food safety that would result from the proposal.

“We are particularly troubled that the interim final rule and proposed rules appear designed to increase uncertainty and costly litigation—GIPSA even admits that substantial litigation will ensue—with no quantifiable benefits.”

Eight different circuit courts of appeal have addressed a key issue underpinning the rules—the need to prove competitive injury to demonstrate a violation—and they have uniformly and resoundingly rejected the position advanced by GIPSA in these three rules. Rather than acquiesce in these decisions, however, the Obama administration sought to misuse the rulemaking process to achieve what GIPSA has not won in court – and in doing so, gave a gift to trial lawyers on the way out the door.

Read more on this here

Ag Group, Chicken, National Chicken Council, Policy, usda

No Tainted Brazilian Meat Entered U.S., Yet Still Re-Inspecting

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that while none of the slaughter or processing facilities implicated in the Brazilian scandal have shipped meat products to the U.S., they are still taking extra steps to keep food supply safe.

FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil upon hearing reports of the Brazilian investigation. FSIS has also increased its examination of all these products at ports-of-entry across the country. The agency will indefinitely maintain its 100% re-inspection and pathogen testing of all lots of FSIS-regulated products imported from Brazil.

“Keeping food safe for American families is our top priority,” said Mike Young, Acting Deputy Secretary of the USDA. “FSIS has strengthened the existing safeguards that protect the American food supply as a precaution and is monitoring the Brazilian government’s investigation closely.”

The FSIS import inspection system (including equivalence determinations, in-country audits, and re-inspection processes) is designed to ensure that imported meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe and wholesome. FSIS works closely with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to ensure that these products are safe before they enter the country.

Ag Group, Food, food safety, Imports, Meat, usda