The Peak Report Goes Digital

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Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 12.43.40 PMArm & Hammer Animal Nutrition announces that The Peak Report newsletter is transforming into a frequently updated, full-time digital information resource.

“Dairy producers, veterinarians, nutritionists and other key allied industry and dairy professionals have long relied on the print and online versions of this award-winning newsletter for relevant dairy nutrition and management information,” explains Dr. Neil Michael, Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition senior business manager.

“As part of our commitment to helping producers navigate the transition journey, we’ve revamped the newsletter and its website so that it can be updated more frequently to better accommodate user information wants and needs,” he adds. “The Peak Report blog is one more notable resource that’s a key component of the new Transition Hub.”

Beginning this week, The Peak Report will be refreshed multiple times each week with new articles, management tips, videos, industry news and more. This evolution will allow
ARM & HAMMER™ to disseminate helpful information much more often.

ARM & HAMMER will offer one more edition of The Peak Report in printed form this fall and then convert to a digital edition for all future issues.

Be sure to visit and sign-up to receive future digital editions of The Peak Report in your email inbox. The first 1,000 respondents to sign-up will receive a pair of cowhide work gloves. Revisit the site often to get the latest information and updates.

“Transition is not a destination, it’s a journey sometimes filled with unexpected twists,” notes Dr. Michael. “We and our Transition Partners are here to help producers stay on the path to success, and that requires more information, updated more frequently. The Peak Report and our transition resources are designed to help guide you along the way.”

Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Dairy, dairy farming Jamie JohansenThe Peak Report Goes Digital

National Dairy FARM Program Report

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FARMDairy farmers nationwide continue to demonstrate widespread adoption of industry standards that assure high-quality care for their animals, according to a report released today by the National Milk Producers Federation. The summary report, issued annually, quantifies practices by farmers participating in the industry’s responsible care program, known as the National Dairy FARM Program. A copy of the report can be found online.

“The latest report shows dairy farmers continue to demonstrate their extensive commitment to the well-being of the animals in their care through adherence to the standards in the FARM program,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

The report quantifies the results of more than 12,000 dairy farm evaluations conducted during the previous three years. All the data collected by second-party evaluators who visit each of those farms is catalogued, and provides a baseline of the breadth of adoption of the program’s care practices.

For example, the report found nearly 95 percent of farms enrolled in the program train their employees to properly move animals that cannot walk, and more than 98 percent train employees to handle calves with a minimum of stress. Other findings included:
– 99 percent of farms observe animals daily to identify health issues for early treatment;
– 93 percent develop protocols with veterinarians for dealing with common diseases, calving and animals with special needs;
– 92 percent train workers to recognize the need for animals to be euthanized.

Read More

Ag Group, Animal Health, Animal Welfare, Cattle, Dairy Jamie JohansenNational Dairy FARM Program Report

ABI Elects New President & Officers

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ABI Logo_FINAL_10.24.13At the fall Board meeting of the American Butter Institute (ABI) held last week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Irv Holmes of Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. was elected President of ABI, and two new officers were seated: Dean Van Tuinen of Darigold was elected First Vice President, and John Ellenberger of Land O’Lakes, Inc. was elected Second Vice President. Each position is a two-year term. The institute also welcomed Doug Glade, a new ABI representative from Dairy Farmers of America. Glade replaces the long-serving board member and past ABI President Mark Korsmeyer.

New ABI President Holmes thanked the institute for electing him and expressed a desire to continue the great work that his predecessors have started. He noted that he had an opportunity to visit the ABI offices earlier in 2014 to discuss opportunities for the institute in the coming years. He noted that butter category has garnered a great deal of positive attention in the past several years. President-Elect Holmes thanked outgoing President David Riemersma for his years of service, and for the many contributions that he made to the betterment of the butter industry. Riemersma of Butterball Farms was presented a President’s Plaque.

President Riemersma thanked Korsmeyer for his many years of service, leadership, and contributions he has made to move the industry and institute in a positive direction. Riemersma presented Korsmeyer with a Special Recognition Award.

In addition to officer elections, Bree Hester, a food blogger whose site is called “Baked Bree,” shared her story of how she turned the love of cooking into a booming business. ABI’s Board also reviewed and approved the organization’s budget for 2015, and received an update on the successful national butter promotion program and its continued influence using social media to promote use of butter. The ABI board received an update on economic & market outlook, reviewed regulatory issues, and received an update on CWT and the REAL® Seal.

ABI’s next meeting will be held in conjunction with the American Dairy Products Institute April 26-28, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Ag Group, Butter, Dairy, National Milk Jamie JohansenABI Elects New President & Officers

Deadline to Serve on Pork Checkoff Board Nears

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PorkCheckoffThe Pork Checkoff’s Board of Directors is now accepting nominations to fill five three-year terms and one two-year term commencing in July 2015. Nominees may be submitted by state pork producer associations, farm organizations or anyone who pays into the Pork Checkoff, which includes pig farmers and pork importers.

A minimum of nine candidates must be ranked by Pork Act Delegates before being sent to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for approval. A ninth nomination is required due to the resignation of current board member Craig Rowles of Iowa, leaving open two years of his remaining term. Rowles will step down from the board in July 2015 due to a recent decision to exit his pork production business.

Serving on the National Pork Board is a great opportunity for producers to show their support of the industry, while helping to plan for a successful future. Any person who is a pork producer or importer and has paid all Checkoff assessments due, or is a representative of a producer or company that produces hogs and/or pigs, is eligible to serve on the National Pork Checkoff Board.

Candidates are also being sought for two open positions on the Pork Board Nominating Committee. Those appointed to the nominating committee will serve a two-year term in 2015 and 2016. The Pork Checkoff Nominating Committee will solicit, interview, evaluate and recommend candidates to the Pork Act Delegate Body at the annual meeting March 5-7, 2015, in San Antonio.

The application deadline is Nov. 1, 2014, with interviews for each candidate to be held in Des Moines on Dec. 11-12, 2014. Please direct application requests and questions to the National Pork Checkoff Board either by mail to 1776 NW 114th St., Clive, Iowa 50325, by telephone to Teresa Wadsworth at (515) 223-2612, or email:

Ag Group, Pork, Pork Checkoff Jamie JohansenDeadline to Serve on Pork Checkoff Board Nears

Raw Milk Symposium Will Explore Safety Issues

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Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.57.14 AMThe Raw Milk Symposium will feature raw milk experts and activists, including Mark McAfee, owner of the largest raw milk dairy in California and chairman of the Raw Milk Institute, Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and Sally Fallon Morell, founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. The session will be held Monday, November 10, 2014 from 9:15 to 4:00 PM, EST. Live stream of Symposium will be free for the public and government officials.

The event will include:
– Raw Milk Legal Updates for Canada and the U.S., Karen Selick, LL.B and Pete Kennedy, Esq.
– Producing Safe Raw Cheese, Sally Fallon Morell – Cheese is a processed product, and whether raw or pasteurized, it needs to be produced under strict sanitary conditions. Sally Fallon Morell will share her experience as a cheese maker on sanitation, plant maintenance and record keeping, and will provide tips on how to pass your FDA inspection.
– RAWMI Progress and Lessons from the Listed, Mark McAfee – RAWMI food safety success; creating a bright and safe future for raw milk.
– A New California Raw Milk Dairy, Cynthia Daley, PhD – This session will focus on the steps required to pass through the grade A permit and licensing process, including all state and county agencies that are involved and their associated costs. We will also cover the details of the on-farm Risk Analysis & Management plan to meet & exceed the needs of state standards as we work toward safe production methods for raw milk.

The Raw Milk Symposium is being held immediately following FOCUS ON FOOD, the Fifteenth International Conference of the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is Friday, November 7 – Sunday, November 9 in Indianapolis.

Agribusiness, Dairy, Events, Milk Jamie JohansenRaw Milk Symposium Will Explore Safety Issues

What should be done about WTO COOL ruling?

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New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Has the uncertainty for the RFS caused by the EPA hurt your community?”

No doubt the uncertainty for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) caused by the EPA has hurt many of our communities. This unpredictability has been around over a year and has left many wondering what the final renewable fuel volumes will be. I am sure the uncertainty has impacted our lives more then many even are aware.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes, lost local business/jobs – 73%
  • No, no impact – 27%
  • Don’t know – 0%

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

The industry has reacted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) decision against the United States on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law since the announcement was made earlier this week. Some feel the issue can be handled by USDA, others feel Congress should take charge. Or are there are other options?

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenWhat should be done about WTO COOL ruling?

Growers Look to Pacific Ag for Biomass Baling

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Bill Levy Pacific AgLast week Abengoa’s cellulosic ethanol biorefinery went online and is expected to produce 25 million gallons of advanced ethanol per year as well as 21 MW of bioenergy. But how exactly does the corn and wheat residue get from the fields to the biorefinery in a economical and efficient way? Enter Pacific Ag.

The company was founded by Bill Levy in 1998 and began by baling residue for growers and using the biomass for animal feed both in the U.S. and internationally. It was a natural progression for Pacific Ag to get involved in cellulosic production in the U.S. and to become a major supplier to the industry.

I asked Levy to talk about their residue removal model. He noted that since their inception, they have always focused on having a balanced residue program for growers and they are finding value for those products for them. So taking their successful model from the Northwest and applying it to the Midwest was a good fit. “The fundamentals of having residue removed on a timely basis and in a sustainable way is really the same,” explained Levy. Today they are in California, North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas and he says they have innovated to become “energy balers” because of the new bioenergy market for residue.

It’s very easy for a grower to work with Pacific Ag. Levy explained that if a grower has five circles of corn, for example, he/she can call Pacific Ag after harvest and they will schedule a time for them to come in and bale the biomass. “We have a very predictable payment schedule. You get 50 percent when the stack is created and 50 percent when the stack moves,” explained Levy. He said they also have a great paperwork system to track all the bales, the tons and their movement.

Pacific Ag Hugoton Kansas teamHe added that what’s nice is to have growers contact them early to let them know how many circles they want harvested because they put so much effort into planning for the season but a grower can add circles after he sees the value of Pacific Ag and his neighbor can call after he harvests his field when he sees the significant revenue stream the biomass provides others.

“And I think as the world starts to look at renewable energy, I think agriculture is going to be the benefactor,” added Levy.

Pacific Ag is looking for growers of rice, wheat, corn, alfalfa and other biomass crops who are interested in working with them. As the markets for biomass continue to explode, Pacific Ag is ready to be the partner to help make the growers who plant the bioenergy crops, successful.

Learn more about Pacific Ag and how to become involved in the biomass energy revolution by listening to my interview with Bill Levy: Interview with Bill Levy, Pacific Ag

Abengoa Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Grand Opening photo album.

Agribusiness, Alfalfa, Audio, Cattle, Dairy Joanna SchroederGrowers Look to Pacific Ag for Biomass Baling

Beef: Fueling Runners to the Finish

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Beef checkoffJoin the beef checkoff and Miss Patty Melt to cheer for Team BEEF in DC during 2014 Marine Corps Marathon.

The beef checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) is proud to fuel runners at the 39th running of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, on Oct. 26, 2014. The beef checkoff is fielding a group of runners under the Team BEEF banner, as well as participating in various activities throughout the weekend including the first timers pep rally.

“Athletes everywhere are turning to lean beef as an invaluable component in their diet regimens to help with weight management, muscle development, immunity and cardiac health,” says Jennifer Orr, NEBPI director of public relations. “We’re proud to be a part this year’s Marine Corps Marathon and are excited to cheer on Team BEEF as they race to the finish.”

The beef checkoff will be participating in several events throughout the weekend, including:
– Health and Fitness Expo by GE
– First Timers Pep Rally
– MCM Kids Run

For real-time updates on Team BEEF on Twitter during the Marine Corps Marathon, follow @NortheastBeef and #BeefFuelsMCM.

Ag Group, Beef, Beef Checkoff, Food, Health Jamie JohansenBeef: Fueling Runners to the Finish

Proprietary SPC Enzymes Enhance Digestion of Feed

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R_D_Logo_1Inclusion of proprietary SPC Enzymes™ in R&D LifeSciences’ feed additives helps to improve digestion of feed. The proprietary enzymes enhance the digestion of starch, protein, and cellulose in feed to help livestock extract more nutrition from their diet.

R&D LifeSciences feed additives, including top-sellers Lactomace® and Cattlemace®, contain a combination of Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma viride, and Aspergillus oryzae which include enzymes cellulase and amylase. Research has shown these enzymes support optimal rumen function and digestion. David Zehendner, President and CEO of R&D LifeSciences said, “These enzymes can be especially beneficial when the forage is low-quality or low in supply. They help to keep up normal weight gain and milk production.”

Producers seeking to limit reliance on antibiotics will appreciate SPC Enzymes as a non-drug additive that can result in increased productivity. This is an economically and environmentally smart choice as well, explained Zehendner. He said, “As the human population grows, our need for food increases. The majority of this food has to come from innovations in technology that produce food in smarter, more efficient ways. SPC Enzymes do just that by helping the animal to get more nutrition out of the food they eat, so they do not need as much.” Better utilization of forages reduces the amount needed per animal, limiting cost and waste output.

Agribusiness, Cattle, Feed, Nutrition Jamie JohansenProprietary SPC Enzymes Enhance Digestion of Feed

CWT Assists with 3.3 Million Pounds of Butter & Cheese

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CWT-logo6Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 9 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 3.252 million pounds (1,450 metric tons) of butter (82% milkfat) and 55,116 pounds (25 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese to customers in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered December 2014 through April 2015.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 86.677 million pounds of cheese, 51.426 million pounds of butter and 37.847 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.234 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them in the rapidly growing world dairy markets. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.

Ag Group, Butter, Cheese, cooperatives, cwt Jamie JohansenCWT Assists with 3.3 Million Pounds of Butter & Cheese