SMART Farmer Scott VanderWal

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

In this episode of the SMART Farmer podcast we meet Scott VanderWal, a third-generation corn and soybean farmer and cattle feeder from Volga, South Dakota.

In addition to operating the family farm with his father and brothers, Scott serves as vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, and is a board member of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

In this podcast, Scott talks about how farming smarter helps him wear many hats: SMART Farmer Podcast with Scott VanderWal, South Dakota

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AFBF, AgWired Animal, Audio, SMART Farmer, USFRA

It’s Time to Disrupt the Disruptors

jamie johansen Leave a Comment

Disruption is everywhere. Disruptive ideas are impacting the way we farm. This year ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference is centered around creating a world-wide disruption of your own. We are just days away from the awe-inspiring event and spoke with Aidan Connolly, Alltech’s Chief Innovation Officer & Vice President, to learn what Disrupt the Disruptors really means.

Aidan said the Alltech conference is always about thought leadership. “What’s coming is very exciting, but will not allow us to continue doing things the way we have done before. If you have come for business as usual, this is not the right place to be. This is going to challenge you. It might make you feel a little uncomfortable. It’s going to disrupt your life. But hopefully it will make you see a more profitable and successful future for you and your business.”

Cindy and I will be packing our bags very soon to embark on another Alltech conference. Follow along this week as we fully experience #ONE17’s world-renowned speakers, cutting-edge science and technology research and a little entertainment and networking.

Listen to my complete interview with Aidan here: Interview with Aidan Connolly, Alltech

AgWired Animal, Alltech, Audio, Technology

Dairy Welcomes NAFTA Action by USTR

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) commended Robert Lighthizer, the newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative, for taking swift action under the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA) to begin the process for modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In a notification letter sent to Congress, Ambassador Lighthizer outlined some of the areas of the agreement that are either outdated or missing – several of which are important to the U.S. dairy industry – and reaffirmed commitment to pursuing the trade priorities outlined by TPA, including goals related to market access and curbing the abuse of geographical indications. He also emphasized the importance of effectively implementing and aggressively enforcing the commitments made by Canada and Mexico, two of the dairy industry’s top trade partners.

The groups have repeatedly urged administration officials and legislators to focus on maintaining what has worked well, such as trade with Mexico, the top market for U.S. dairy exports. The dairy groups have also continued to call for improving market access to Canada and tackling that country’s expanding list of protectionist policies and other barriers to U.S. dairy exports.

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Ag Group, Dairy, idfa, National Milk, Trade, USDEC

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • The Animal Agriculture Alliance promoted Allyson Jones-Brimmer to director of membership and Casey Whitaker to communications manager. In her new role, Jones-Brimmer will focus on raising awareness and recognition of the Alliance brand with external stakeholders as well as growing Alliance membership and sponsorship. As communications manager, Whitaker will take a more active role in issues management and media relations and will be responsible for producing content such as press releases and letters.
  • Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. has released “Down by the Feed Mill: The Past and Present of America’s Feed Mills and Grain Elevators” by David Hanks. The books features stunning images of mills—ranging from present-day bustling businesses to abandoned old structures—within the communities they anchor.
  • The American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) has hired Drew Carlson, Atwood, Colorado, as association intern. Carlson will be assisting in all aspects of the AGA operations including facilitating member programs and services, bull customer assistance, and marketing.
  • Animal Bites

    AgriLabs New Custom Vaccine Option for Swine

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    AgriLabs® has introduced a new innovative custom vaccine option for swine veterinarians and producers. It combines the benefits of herd-specific autogenous vaccines with proprietary production processes and ENABL® adjuvant technology designed to improve vaccine performance.

    “The custom vaccine market has seen little innovation in recent years despite a growing number of companies,” says Sean O’Hare, executive vice president of AgriLabs. “Our technological advancements allow us to deliver a custom vaccine option that is truly different from – and better designed to evolve with your health management practices than – others in the market.”

    O’Hare says proprietary production processes will help AgriLabs produce custom vaccines from particular strains of certain swine diseases, such as PRRS, that have evolved to become harder for other custom vaccine manufacturers to grow. “Making custom vaccines for hard-to-grow virus strains has become a particular challenge in the industry, and our scientists have developed novel techniques to address that challenge,” O’Hare says.

    In addition, O’Hare says the company’s recently patented ENABL adjuvant technology will be a key differentiator.

    “ENABL novel adjuvants feature a patented lipid/polymer matrix to which antigens attach for efficient delivery to target cells,” says O’Hare. “That means higher absorption of antigen to immune cells. The result is a greater immune response – and a custom vaccine offering unlike any other.”

    Agribusiness, Animal Health, Swine, Vaccine, Veterinary

    North American Cattle Groups Say Don’t Jeopardize NAFTA

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) joined its cattle-industry partners in Canada and Mexico in sending a joint letter to President Trump, President Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, urging the three leaders to not “jeopardize the success we have all enjoyed as partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

    The letter was signed by NCBA President Craig Uden, Dan Darling, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and Oswaldo Chazaro Montalvo, president of the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas.

    “Recent statements about the possible dissolution of NAFTA or potential renegotiation of NAFTA are deeply concerning to us because of the unnecessary risk it places on our producers,” the letter states. “While there may be general agreement among the countries to improve some parts of the NAFTA trade framework, we urge you to recognize that the terms of the agreement affecting cattle producers are strongly supported as they currently exist and should not be altered.”

    The groups also urged them to “reject efforts to use NAFTA as a platform to resurrect failed policies, especially the misguided mandatory country-of-origin labeling policy that was the law of the United States for over seven years.”

    “MCOOL failed to deliver its proponents’ promise to increase consumer demand or consumer confidence,” the groups said. “Instead, it created massive disruptions in live cattle trade that hurt beef producers across North America and jeopardized the jobs of American workers that depend on processing those cattle.”

    Ag Group, Beef, International, Markets, NCBA, Trade

    NPPC Says New NAFTA Must Not Disrupt Pork Exports

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    Following the notification by the Trump administration to Congress that it intends to modernize the trade agreement among the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) urged the president to make sure that tariffs remain at zero for pork traded in North America.

    The White House notified the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees that the administration will update the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The notification begins a 90-day period in which Trump trade officials must consult with Congress on the objectives of the trade talks; 30 days prior to negotiations starting, the administration must make public a “detailed and comprehensive summary of the specific objectives” for a new agreement.

    NPPC said U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico last year were almost $799 million and nearly $1.4 billion.

    “Canada and Mexico are top pork export markets. We absolutely must not have any disruptions in exports to our No. 2 (Mexico) and No. 4 (Canada) markets,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill.

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    Ag Group, Export, NPPC, Pork, Trade

    Milk Regulators Seek Proper Use of Dairy Product Terminology

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    State milk regulators requested that the FDA work with them to enforce the proper use of milk and milk product labeling terms, a development the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) hailed as “the strongest statement yet that the abuse of dairy terms has gone too far.”

    “It’s time for FDA to work with state agencies in defending standards of identity for dairy products,” said Beth Briczinski, NMPF’s vice president of dairy foods and nutrition.

    The pushback by state officials against FDA’s history of inaction on labeling enforcement came Wednesday at the biennial meeting of the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) in Grand Rapids this week. The NCIMS is a national cooperative regulatory program that includes state milk regulatory agencies, dairy companies and FDA. The states collaborate with federal regulators and industry groups to ensure the safety and integrity of dairy products regulated under the Grade “A” program, including fluid milk, yogurt and other dairy products.

    During the NCIMS session, state milk safety regulators voted unanimously in favor of a resolution intended to clarify the responsibilities of FDA and state programs in ensuring the proper use of standardized dairy product names.

    “The state agencies, through their vote today, acknowledged that more effort is needed from FDA to clarify the role of State Milk Regulatory Programs in assuring the proper use of the standardized names of milk and milk products,” said Briczinski. “FDA needs to stop picking and choosing which regulations it wants to enforce.”

    Ag Group, Dairy, FDA, Milk, National Milk

    Secretary Perdue Testifies at First Hearing

    cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue testified at his first hearing as the new head of USDA. The House Agriculture Committee welcomed Perdue to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify on the “State of the Rural Economy.”

    Perdue acknowledged that the current state of the rural economy is challenging. “Our farm economy is down about a 50 percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 farm bill,” said Perdue in his opening statement. “We’re in some dire straits out there.”

    The new secretary submitted seven pages of written testimony which focused on his proposed “realignment” of USDA. “My goal is to make it the most effective, most efficient, the best managed, the best value agency in the United States government,” said Perdue.

    Download Secretary Perdue’s opening statement here: Perdue at House Ag Committee hearing

    AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Animal, Audio, Government, usda

    Elanco Awards Poultry Memorial Scholarships

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    Elanco Animal Health in collaboration with the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) Foundation, awarded two scholarships to students pursuing degrees in poultry science and veterinary medicine through the Elanco Memorial Scholarships which honors the memory of past Elanco poultry veterinarians and scientists by supporting learning opportunities for future generations.

    “We are proud to honor the memories of Dr. Samantha Pohl and Dr. Ben Schlegal with these two scholarships,” said Dr. Sara Steinlage, Technical Advisor at Elanco. “Elanco was fortunate to have worked with these two individuals who cared deeply about the future of poultry production, and it is only fitting to remember them by providing learning opportunities to future industry leaders.”

    Jeannett Clampitt of Shawnee, Kansas, a senior at Iowa State University, received the $2,000 scholarship. After graduation, Clampitt plans to pursue a Ph.D. that focuses on enhancing animal welfare using fundamental animal production practices coupled with modern molecular techniques.

    Dallas Mackenzie Clontz of Monroe, North Carolina, a first-year veterinary student at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the $3,000 scholarship. Upon completion of her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at NC State University, Clontz plans to complete a Masters of Avian Medicine at the University of Georgia.

    Agribusiness, Education, Elanco, Poultry, scholarship, Veterinary