- The National Dairy FARM Program is now the first livestock animal care program in the world to be recognized internationally for its industry-leading animal welfare standards. The U.S. Department of Agriculture affirmed this week that the program complies with the International Organization for Standardization Animal Welfare Management/General Requirements and Guidance for Organizations in the Food Supply Chain.
- CattleFax celebrated its 50th anniversary at its annual business meeting, held in conjunction with the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention. Participants saw a video highlighting the history and progress of CattleFax. The organization also elected its 2018 officers during the meeting.
- Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam will give attendees at the 2018 Stakeholders Summit a glimpse of how animal agriculture has evolved over the years while offering advice for those facing pressure to return to the old ways. The Summit, set for May 3-4, 2018, will be held at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va.
- The American Sheep Industry Association Washington, D.C., Trip is scheduled for March 5-7, 2018. Attendees will once again stay at the Marriott Courtyard Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard. Those interested in attending should consult with their state sheep association. Attendees will travel into the nation’s capital on Monday, March 5, before meeting with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the following day. Time that afternoon and the morning of March 7 will be reserved for visiting with congressional leaders. For more information, visit www.sheepusa.org or email Chase Adams at email@example.com.
Alltech’s EPNIX has moved past the proof of concept stage and on to large-scale field demonstrations on the efficacy of the product. We caught up with Dr. Vaughn Holder, Alltech’s Ruminant Research Director, at the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention to get an update.
“We have multiple locations throughout North America, Canada and Mexico evaluating the technology on farms to see the benefits we can bring through EPNIX,” Dr. Holder said.
EPNIX has been positioned to be used as an alternative to antimicrobial growth promoters and Dr. Holder even mentioned it’s potential for replacing antibiotics.
Listen to our complete conversation here: Interview with Dr. Vaughn Holder, Alltech
Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus is a devastating disease in cattle. But many producers may not realize that Type 1b is the most common subtype of the disease. Dr. Steve Foulke with Boehringer Ingelheim said many vaccines do not even cover Type 1b.
“The vaccines that are out there on the market contain Type 1a and Type 2a in them, but they generally don’t have a Type 1b actually in them,” said Foulke. “So, the diseases are all the same, but do we cover for everything? So that’s where it’s really important to know whether the vaccines you’re using to prevent BVD are going to protect against the most common BVD that’s actually out there.”
Foulke said BVD can cause more than just diarrhea in cattle. It’s more commonly expressed as a respiratory virus or a reproductive issue, causing early abortion, fetal or congenital malformations, or other problems. The virus also suppresses the immune system, making cattle more susceptible to other diseases.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Dr. Foulke at the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention: Interview with Dr. Steve Foulke, Boehringer Ingelheim
The 2018 National Pork Forum will take place February 28 – March 2, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. The event serves as the annual business meeting for the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).
“The purpose of both organization’s delegate sessions is to really look at the key issues. Producers have the opportunity to discuss those issues and determine the direction for the industry,” said Cindy Cunningham, Assistant VP of Communications for National Pork Board.
NPPC will likely be discussing the 2018 farm bill and trade renegotiations. On the checkoff side, Cindy said they will be discussing new technologies impacting the industry, how the checkoff has changed the way it delivers information and pork exports.
“Each year about a third of the producers who are attending and representing their state are new to Pork Forum. Producer delegates are selected at the county level to attend their state Pork Congress. From there they are selected to attend the National Pork Forum as delegates,” Cindy said.
She added the discussion which takes place between delegates is truly fascinating and their passion for the pork community shines.
Listen to our complete chat here to learn more about the upcoming event. Interview with Cindy Cunningham, National Pork Board
When it comes to gut health in cattle, a tried and true product from Alltech is Bio-Mos. The 2018 Cattle Industry Convention was a great spot for us to get a refresher on how this product is performing in the field and at the bunk.
“You will see an increase in immune response, a reduction of those bad bugs, you will see an increase in feed efficiency, health of the animal and immunoglobulin levels in colostrum. Overall, it is just a great product to add to your operation,” said Zach Postin, Alltech Sales Representative.
Bio-Mos comes in a concentrated form which is mixed into fields, in a mineral or in a crumble to serve as a top-dressing or mixed on the farm.
Postin said stressed situations are seen at all stages of the growing process. Cow/calf operations can feed it right before and after calving. It should also be fed right before and after weaning to keep gut regulated. At the stocker level, Postin said it’s also great for ensuring smooth transitions.
Listen to my complete interview with Zach here: Interview with Zach Postin, Alltech
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the USDA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to jointly promote and enhance environmental sustainability in the dairy industry. The pact extends and builds upon a MOU originally signed in 2009.
Secretary Perdue signed the MOU with Arizona dairy farmer Paul Rovey, chairman of Dairy Management Inc. and an Innovation Center board member, at DeGroot Dairies in Hanford, Calif.
“USDA and the Innovation Center will continue to work together to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies and increase energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms,” Secretary Perdue said. “These improvements will help producers diversify revenues and reduce utility expenses, while they strive to support their families and local communities by operating economically, environmentally sustainable dairy farms.”
“USDA has resources that can help the dairy industry be successful but in many cases they are difficult to find because they are spread out through various agencies,” Secretary Perdue continued. “This MOU hopefully will be a potential navigator to the Innovation Center and give a ‘green light’ to interact with our agencies and centralize our various research and voluntary conservation efforts to reach their goals.”
“Over the years, we have pursued creative and common-sense ways to work together that have allowed us to develop research, technologies, and on-the-ground practices that move us closer to our collective goals,” said Barb O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center. “The Innovation Center is proud of the synergy that has resulted from our collaboration with USDA, and we have no question that this public/private partnership works in the best interest of farmers, our dairy community and, most importantly, consumers of dairy who trust us to produce nutritious products they can feel good about feeding to their families.”
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and poultry groups including National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, and United Egg Producers applaud introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate that would prevent farms, ranches, and other agricultural operations from having to report livestock manure data under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
The law governs toxic Superfund sites which are used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component. Lead sponsors include Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), along with 18 other Republican and Democratic senators, including Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE).
“There’s not a lot of truly bipartisan legislation in Washington these days, but one thing that pretty much everybody can agree on is that a responsibly-run cattle ranch isn’t a toxic Superfund site,” said fifth-generation California rancher and NCBA President Kevin Kester. “On behalf of cattle producers across America, I want to sincerely thank the Senators from both parties who worked together to introduce this bipartisan bill. I also want to encourage other Senators to join the effort and pass this bill as quickly as possible.”
“Routine emissions from hog manure do not constitute a ‘hazardous’ emergency that requires the Coast Guard to activate a national cleanup response,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill., “We’re extremely grateful to the 19 cosponsors of the FARM Act for their leadership and common sense on this issue. EPA exempted farms from CERCLA reporting because it knew responses would be unnecessary and impractical. Frankly, the court created a problem where none existed.”
“CERCLA was never intended to be applied in this way to dairy farms,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “Congress needs to stipulate that this burdensome regulatory overreach serves no legitimate health or safety purpose, and needs to stop.”
“This is significant breakthrough legislation restoring CERCLA reporting to its intended purpose, a united legislative effort that has been nearly 15 years in the making, and we appreciate their swift action on behalf of America’s turkey, chicken and egg farmers,” said the poultry groups in a joint statement. “Marking a bi-partisan level of cooperation, the bill demonstrates strong support from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to clarify Congress’ intent.”
Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is the leading cause of calf death after weaning. Boehringer Ingelheim takes a holistic approach when helping producers fight the disease, said Professional Services Veterinarian Dr. Rich Linhart.
“We look at everything on the ranch, from personnel to feed bunk space to mud to wind to the way pens are set up, and cattle flow,” said Linhart, who is based in Boise, Idaho.
He said the company does offer both vaccines and antibiotics to help prevent and battle BRD, but also recognizes the importance of good nutrition and many other factors when it comes to keeping the disease off the farm or ranch. Linhart answered questions from producers at the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show in Phoenix.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Dr. Linhart: Interview with Dr. Rich Linhart, Boehringer Ingelheim
During #CattleCon18 I visited with Farm Credit to learn what they are offering to cattle ranchers. I talked with Todd Moore (pictured), Farm Credit Mid-America, first and asked him what the message is for those attending. He says that with the volatility in cattle prices lender are talking to their customers and asking questions like, “Do they have a risk management plan?” And if they do, “Do they have enough information to know their fixed and variable costs to devise a good plan?”
When it comes to what questions he is getting from producers he says they are very diverse but with some common themes like interest rates. With interest rates expected to continue to rise they wonder about locking in rates or having fixed interest rates. He says that is something Farm Credit can help them with. Learn more from my interview with Todd.
Listen to my interview with Todd here: Interview with Todd Moore, Farm Credit Mid-America
During my time with Farm Credit I also spoke with Rod Alt, Capital Farm Credit. He says that one of the benefits of being able to be a part of the NCBA Trade Show is the wide variety of cattle producers who attend and have very different needs. He also talks about having a good business plan and how Farm Credit and help their customers with that effort. He also offers some ideas for dealing with the upcoming year with all of its challenges.
Listen to my interview with Rod here: Interview with Rod Alt, Capital Farm Credit
Farm Credit also held a series of open forum roundtable discussions during the convention. The first one was conducted by Trevor Amen, Cobank and Sarah Fitzgerald, Capital Farm Credit. The topic was trade. As you can imagine that is a very important one for the industry. Listen in to hear about things like alternative meats and more.
Listen to the roundtable discussion here: Forum with Trevor Amen, Cobank & Sarah Fitzgerald, Capital Farm Credit
The Missouri Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference took place over the weekend. I was able to attend with my husband and had great intentions to not ‘work.’ But when I heard topics being discussed that are timely and others might learn from, I couldn’t help but pull out my recorder and gather some content.
Missouri Farm Bureau’s Director of National Legislative Programs, Spencer Tuma, spoke to attendees during breakout sessions providing policy updates on topics like the farm bill, infrastructure, rural broadband and trade.
If you were sleeping last Thursday night, you may not have realized a government shutdown occurred. But Spencer shares how that shutdown impacted two key commodity groups.
“What that budget agreement does is fund our government until March 23rd through a continuing resolution, but it also had some really cool agricultural provisions including fixes to the current cotton and dairy program. Cotton was not eligible for the traditional commodity programs ARC and PLC. It has the STAX Program, which was plagued with low adoption rates. The current farm bill provisions for dairy, the Margin Protection Program, needed some serious work to be more effective for our farmers and ranchers,” said Tuma.
Even though this budget agreement will only last a short time, it did make those changes to the cotton and dairy programs permanent. “By addressing these through the budget process, it actually frees up some funding baseline in the upcoming farm bill to address some of the other commodity issues,” she added.
Listen to our complete conversation to learn more about the President’s incoming budget’s impact on infrastructure and rural broadband and how changes to trade agreement KORUS could impact U.S. agriculture. Interview with Spencer Tuma, Missouri Farm Bureau