Programs to Benefit Sheep Producers of All Sizes

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asiTwo new programs will benefit sheep producers and the sheep industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced July 28.

The new Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program, part of the 2014 Farm Bill, will provide approximately $1.5 million in grant funds that can be used by sheep organizations to assist producers by strengthening the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States. The focus of the grant will be on infrastructure, business and resource development. Eligible organizations must submit an application for federal assistance by 5 p.m. EST on Aug. 27.

“I want to emphasize that USDA is committed to working with the sheep industry, to support markets for high quality lamb and lamb products and for high quality sheep and sheep products,” said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ed Avalos. “And I’m not talking about just domestic markets, I’m talking also about international markets.”

“The industry is very appreciative of AMS for its timely initiation of the grant funds,” said Clint Krebs, president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). “ASI anticipates that these funds will be secured by the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center for distribution to the industry as was the intent of the Farm Bill language. The program will have AMS oversight.”

Meanwhile, the second program unveiled by USDA is the Grass Fed Program for Small and Very Small Producers. It is designed as a verification tool for producers of 99 ewes or less to certify their animals meet the requirements of the grass-fed marketing claim standard. Certified producers will receive certificates that allow them to market their sheep as USDA-certified grass fed, increasing their market value and creating new economic opportunities.

“Both of these programs are welcomed by sheep producers and will be valuable tools for the industry as a whole,” said Clint Krebs, president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). “We appreciate USDA for all its work with the sheep industry and we are excited about being able to offer the grass-fed program to a large number of our producers.

“These programs are a win for the U.S. sheep industry but also for consumers and the economy. Studies have shown that for every 1,000 ewes being cared for on ranches and farms in the United States, 18 jobs are associated with them.”

Ag Group, Sheep, usda Jamie JohansenPrograms to Benefit Sheep Producers of All Sizes

NMPF Supports FDA’s Draft Food Shipment Safety Regulations

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nmpfMilk producers joined milk processors yesterday in supporting the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed regulations on the safe shipment of food, saying the draft rules largely write into regulations what the dairy industry is already doing.

“Dairy foods are safely transported already, and there is no need to improve on current practices,” said Beth Briczinski, vice president for dairy foods and nutrition for the National Milk Producers Federation. “As a result, we basically support what the FDA is proposing.”

NMPF, the voice of 32,000 dairy farmers in Washington, submitted comments on the draft regulations issued in February as part of efforts to implement a major update of the nation’s food safety laws enacted in 2011.

NMPF did note several areas where the proposal could be clarified or modified. In particular, it urged expanding waivers from the regulation for dairy products if a shipper is licensed under the Grade “A” milk program. NMPF urged including outbound shipments of finished products – such as yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream – as well as inbound shipments of unpasteurized milk under the waiver.

Other areas NMPF suggested clarifying included language regarding short or intra-company food shipments and the transportation of frozen dairy desserts. On the latter, the organization said the final regulations should specify that ice cream and other frozen dairy desserts should not be included under the proposed regulations because when ice cream is temperature-abused it doesn’t present a food safety risk. Instead, it melts.

The proposed rules were issued under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, as well as a separate 2005 law covering safe transportation of foods.

Ag Group, Food, Milk, National Milk Jamie JohansenNMPF Supports FDA’s Draft Food Shipment Safety Regulations

Members of the Cattle-Feeding Community Honored

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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 4.40.21 PMFour individuals who have been catalysts for the beef industry and inspired others to do the same were honored July 29 during the sixth annual Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame banquet in Westminster, Colorado.

The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was established to honor the exceptional individuals who have made lasting contributions to the cattle-feeding industry. This year, Dinsdale and Simplot were among five individuals selected by the nominating committee. The slated nominees were voted on by their peers.

Roy Dinsdale – Dinsdale Brothers Inc. – 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

In 1948, Roy Dinsdale received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and returned to the family’s cattle operation in Palmer, Nebraska. In the six decades since, Roy has nurtured Dinsdale Brothers into a large, diverse company involved in cattle feeding, ranching, farming, banking and other ag-related businesses. Third- and fourth-generation Dinsdales now oversee the 75,000 head of cattle located in Colorado and Nebraska, while Roy still keeps a watchful eye on the Palmer feedyard.

J. R. “Jack” Simplot – J.R. Simplot Company – 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

Jack Simplot revolutionized the food industry with the first commercially viable frozen french fries, carved a cattle empire out of sage brush and desert, and built a $6 billion agribusiness that employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Today, his company’s land and livestock holdings include extensive farm and ranch properties in the western United States with two large feedyards, nearly 40 farms and over a dozen ranches.

The Industry Leadership Award is a prestigious award that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, provided exemplary service and made significant contributions to the advancement of the cattle-feeding business.

Betty Jo Gigot is the editor and publisher of CALF News, a magazine based in Garden City, Kansas, that she has served for more than 23 years. She became involved in the cattle-feeding industry in 1980 when she founded her own computer company and began writing and installing programs in feedyards across the country.

The Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award was developed by the Hall of Fame to recognize feedyard employees who go above and beyond the call of duty to help improve the cattle-feeding community.

Brad Thomas is described as a “true cowboy” by those who have the honor of working by his side. A traumatic accident changed his life forever when he lost both arms. Despite setbacks, he continues to drive to and from his work at Darr Feedlot in Cozad, Nebraska, saddle his own horse, ride pens and help others around him. Overcoming these challenges contributed to the motto of this courageous cowboy: “Never give up.”

Ag Group, award, Beef, Cattle, Feed Jamie JohansenMembers of the Cattle-Feeding Community Honored

Policy Talks Underway at Cattle Industry Summer Conference

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cisc-14-28 editedThe 2014 Cattle Industry Summer Conference is well underway here in Denver, CO. Cattlemen and women have gathered to discuss pressing issues affecting producers nationwide. I sat down with Philip Ellis, 2014 NCBA President Elect and he shed some light into what the cattlemen’s organization is doing to advocate and educate.

“We always have many issues at our summer conference. We address policy, resolutions so we can have a policy book ready for the new Congress in January. Our big issue right now is the EPA’s Clean Water Act. We think that rule has an overly broad definition. It could make the mud hole on my ranch regulated affecting my grazing and stewardship.”

Philip stresses the importance of all producers to comment. An extension was given on the comment period extending it to October 1st. The goal is to generate enough comments to get the attention of the policy makers and inform them of the problems this rule will cause the entire agriculture community.

He also discussed County of Origin Labeling. NCBA is awaiting the WTO ruling which has yet to be announced. They are worried about retaliation from neighboring countries and are looking for a commonsense ruling. Philip said they want to address the issue now so if the ruling isn’t desirable producers aren’t affected and trade continues.

Listen to my interview with Philip here: Interview with Philip Ellis, NCBA President Elect

View and download photos from the event here :Cattle Industry Summer Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Summer Conference is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Summer Conference is sponsored by ADM
ADM, Ag Group, Beef, Beef Checkoff, Cattle, CBB, NCBA, Policy Jamie JohansenPolicy Talks Underway at Cattle Industry Summer Conference

Where Do You Prefer to Get Your Farm News?

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New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How can technology make farming even better?”

We all seem to have a different opinion on what type of farming technology would be the most beneficial. Right now I am leaning towards weather control. It would be nice to simply click a button when we need some rain. I still believe that is a little farfetched. However, I know we will all be seeing drones and robots in our near future.

Here are the poll results:

  • Remote control tractors – 15%
  • Drone crop management – 22%
  • Robot livestock feeders – 19%
  • Remote crop & livestock sensors – 15%
  • Weather control – 15%
  • Can’t imagine it yet – 7%
  • Other – 7%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, I prefer to get my farm news from:

In this day and age we can get news at the drop of the hat. It is pretty much everywhere we look. But we all have our preferred source for the latest news in the agriculture community. Let us know where you prefer to get your farming news.

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenWhere Do You Prefer to Get Your Farm News?

Oklahoma Attorney General Advances Investigation of HSUS

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Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 9.52.25, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, applauded Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for moving forward with his investigation into the deceptive fundraising of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Pruitt stated in a radio interview last week that his office has issued subpoenas to HSUS and an HSUS vendor, direct-mail firm Quadriga Art, in light of the latter’s $25 million settlement with the New York Attorney General earlier this month. Quadriga had been accused of raising money on behalf of a veterans charity and keeping almost all of the millions raised.

Earlier this year, Pruitt issued a public “consumer alert” regarding the fundraising of national animal charities. Will Coggin, senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom, issued the following statement on the recent development:

Attorney General Pruitt deserves the public’s gratitude for doggedly pursuing the Humane Society of the United States’ fundraising practices and use of donor money. Despite common misconception, HSUS is not affiliated with local humane societies. Just as Quadriga Art has reportedly kept most of the money raised on behalf of veterans and animal charities, HSUS only gives 1 percent of the money it raises—largely with images of cats and dogs—to local pet shelters. HSUS’s own CEO has admitted that confusion exists among donors and the public. The Humane Society of the United States needs to be given a short leash and held accountable, and needs to clearly disclose to its donors how their money is being used.

In May, HSUS settled a federal racketeering and bribery lawsuit for up to $15.75 million, and in June, Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator, revoked its rating of HSUS and issued a “Donor Advisory” against the group.

Ag Group, Animal Activists, Animal Welfare Jamie JohansenOklahoma Attorney General Advances Investigation of HSUS

Utilize Second Crop to Meet Your Nutrient Needs

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Second_Crop_F_aJohn Klein, Corn Replacement Feed & Forage Products Business Manager for ADM had a chance to visit with Chuck the other day about one of the products they offer called ADM Second Crop. The title was given to a process they created for treating crop residue.

“It got the title Second Crop because after harvesting your grain you come in and bale up your corn stalks, wheat straw or other non-legume forage. We work with the local commercial sub-grinders and producer to set up a day to bring the equipment out and actually treat the corn stalks or wheat straw turning it into a better quality feed.”

ADM has really focused on making the process as efficient as it can possible be. This has allowed them to keep their cost down and get a lot done in one day. John said the most they have treated in one day is a 1,000 ton of wet feed at 50% moisture.

The ideal situation is to be set up to deliver directly to the tub grinder as the forage comes off the field. As it is being ground, ADM is there are treating it. There are many different ways you can handle the end product but it must be packed and stored in a anaerobic space.

John also goes on to share how cost effective this process is for producers. Depending on what type of operation you are running, he said you could replace 7%-80% of your animals intake by using this treated residue. Other ADM additives are also out there to up supplement a producers nutrient needs, like minerals that are made specifically for Second Crop users.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with John here: Interview with John Klein, ADM

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Summer Conference is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Summer Conference is sponsored by ADM
ADM, Agribusiness, Animal Health, Audio, Beef, Cattle, Dairy, Forage, Nutrition Jamie JohansenUtilize Second Crop to Meet Your Nutrient Needs

Deadline for World Forage Analysis Superbowl Approaches

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Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 4.43.26 PMThe entry deadlines this year’s World Forage Analysis Superbowl is quickly approaching. The entry deadline for the standard and brown midrib corn silage is Thursday, August 14. The deadline for all other forage samples including dairy hay, haylage, bagelage, commercial hay and grass hay is Thursday, September 4. The official entry form and contest rules can be found at or by calling 920-336-4521. The cost to enter is $25 per sample and includes complete nutritional analysis of forage samples.

Over $22,000 in cash prizes will be awarded during the Mycogen Seeds Forage Superbowl Luncheon on Wednesday, October 1, including $1,500 for each category winner and quality counts award in silage and hay/haylage. Additional cash prizes will be awarded to the Grand Champion Forage, First-Time Entrant winner and second through fourth places in each category.

All winning entries will be on display in the Arena Building at World Dairy Expo. Finalists will be notified in September and invited to attend the Mycogen Seeds Forage Superbowl Awards Luncheon in Madison, Wis.

Cash awards are made possible thanks to generous sponsors, including Platinum Sponsor, Mycogen Seeds. Additional sponsors include Ag-Bag, Agri-King, Barenbrug USA, Blue River Hybrids, CROPLAN by Winield, Kemin, Kuhn North America, National Hay Association, NEXGROW alfalfa and W-L Research.

The World Forage Analysis Superbowl is organized in partnership with Dairyland Laboratories, Inc., DairyBusiness Communications, Hay & Forage Grower, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison and World Dairy Expo.

Ag Group, Dairy, Forage, World Dairy Expo Jamie JohansenDeadline for World Forage Analysis Superbowl Approaches

The Revolution of Precision Nutrition

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Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.16.38 PMChuck recently spoke to ADM’s Jeff Hill about their product AMPT which is revolutionizing mineral nutrition.

“AMPT is a new range cow free choice mineral. As the acronym implies AMPT stands for Advanced Mineral Performance Technologies. We took a very specific approach trying to target just the nutrients that the animal needs at the right levels and also enhance it with the most current technology out there.”

Trying to keep it as simple as possible, ADM has provided a diverse line of products that will meet the needs of many different farming and ranching operations. The line includes four base products: AMPT-A, AMPT-M, AMPT-P and AMPT-T.

AMPT-A is a basic entry level product and is the mineral of choice for cattle grazing wheat pasture or other high quality forages.

AMPT-M is filled with a higher lever of magnesium for protection against grass tetany or other situations requiring additional magnesium.

AMPT-P supplies extra fortification along with a boost of phosphorus content, CitriStim, natural source of vitamin E and selenium yeast. It is great for before and after calving, during breeding season or during any stressful situation.

AMPT-T is for producers only wanting to use one mineral year-round. It includes a natural-source of vitamin E and botanical extract enhancing stress resistance and rumen function. Endo-Fighter and low salt formulas are also available.

Jeff says they target a 4oz. intake and they were able to accomplish this by not putting in anything that simply didn’t need to be there. He says AMPT has “everything you need and nothing that you don’t.”

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Jeff here: Interview with Jeff Hill, ADM

Coverage of the Cattle Industry Summer Conference is sponsored by Coverage of the Cattle Industry Summer Conference is sponsored by ADM
ADM, Agribusiness, Animal Health, Audio, Beef, Cattle, Mineral, Nutrition Jamie JohansenThe Revolution of Precision Nutrition

New Holland Pavilion Update

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Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 11.16.26 AMWorld Dairy Expo wants to be sure to keep everyone updated on the building progress of the New Holland Pavilions at Alliant Energy Center. The project is on schedule.

Visit the New Holland Pavilion Progress newsletter to see the latest photos and project updates.

At the beginning of July Pavilion 1 stood out with it’s green exterior drywall and the roof on Pavilion 2 was complete, but lights were yet to be installed.

By the end of July the exterior on Pavilion 1 had 68,000 lbs. of block facing. The floors were also poured in Pavilion 1 and Pavilion 2 finally got some lighting.

Agribusiness, New Holland, World Dairy Expo Jamie JohansenNew Holland Pavilion Update