NMPF Addresses EPA, Army Corps Regarding WOTUS

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

nmpfFollowing the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota’s decision last Thursday to grant a temporary injunction in 13 states of the EPA’s WOTUS rule the National Milk Producers Federation has responded with a letter to the Obama Administration.  They urged the EPA and the Army Corps that WOTUS should be suspended nationwide.

“The EPA implementation schedule for the Clean Water Rule now treats dairy farmers differently nationwide, and clearly falls short of the EPA’s goals of ‘greater clarity, consistency, and predictability when making jurisdictional determinations,’” NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said in the letter. “Therefore, we ask that EPA and the Corp of Engineers use their enforcement discretion and cease application of the recent WOTUS rule in all 50 states, until such time as it can be evenly applied in every state.”

NMPF submitted comments on the proposed rule to the EPA and Corps of Engineers in November 2014, outlining its concerns with the lack of clarity and certainty for dairy farmers should the rule proceed. The final rule “left many of our concerns unresolved,” NMPF wrote today, although the organization had been hoping to work with EPA to address those concerns going forward.

“The opinion last Thursday by Judge Ralph Erickson brought forth many of the same concerns we relayed in our comments last November and should be taken seriously,” NMPF wrote.

NMPF’s letter today said that the organization and its members “are committed to protecting U.S. waterways through voluntary efforts, as well as through regulatory compliance with the Clean Water Act (CWA). Clean water is central to healthy ecosystems, secure water supplies for human and animal consumption, and to the production of milk and other dairy products. We are committed to working with the EPA and COE to find effective ways to achieve these important goals.”

Lawsuits from other states as well as farm and business groups are pending against the EPA.

Ag Group, Dairy, EPA, Milk

America’s Pig Farmer Finalist Announced

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Americas Pig FarmerThe National Pork Board has announced the four finalists of their new America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award program.  The program was begun to bring public attention to farmers who are doing a great job raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles.

“The four finalists represent the diverse pork industry in the United States,” said National Pork Board President Derrick Sleezer, a farmer from Cherokee, Iowa. “They all have shown a focus on environmental sustainability, animal welfare and continuous improvement.”

The 2015 finalists are:
Steve Kerns – Clearfield, Iowa
Marti Knoblock – Rock Rapids, Iowa
Keith Schoettmer – Tipton, Indiana
Lauren Schwab – Somerville, Ohio

The four finalists have met with an expert panel of judges in Chicago.  The judges reviewed on-farm videos and held interviews with each of the candidates.  Now through September 10th voting is open to the public online at www.americaspigfarmer.com.  Each email address may vote once per day.  The winner will be announced on October 7.

The award, in its inaugural year, is part of the National Pork Board’s commitment to grow consumer trust in all aspects of U.S. pork production.

Ag Group, contest, Pork, Pork Checkoff

Not Your Everyday Manure Spreader

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

jd-reveal-15-8Doug Felter, product manager for John Deere’s sprayer and tillage equipment line gave ag media a sneak preview of a very unique piece of equipment during their ag media event last week. The High Capacity Nutrient Applicator is “in development” and shows John Deere’s commitment to nutrient application.

When John Deere spoke to customers about this unit, Doug said three things stood out. “The first was durability. We are doing a lot to make sure it will hold up to the rigor of the terrain that it works in. Productivity was another big one. Acres equal money. It has got to be able to cover the acres. We have spent a lot of time focusing on capacity and making sure the operator can stay comfortable while covering acres. The final one was around support. Ultimately the most important one in making sure we can keep those machines up. We know the John Deere dealer network is going to be up to the task.”

Listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Doug to learn more about John Deere’s High Capacity Nutrient Applicator which is in the development stages. Doug Felter, John Deere

John Deere 2016 Product Reveal Photo Album

Agribusiness, Fertilizer, John Deere

Answering Questions About the Future of Beef

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

beef checkoffBeef producers have been pondering a lot of questions lately.  What will happen to the demand for beef as expansion continues?  How does rebuilding affect prices?  Where is the future of beef headed?

From farm to fork, the industry is concerned but hopeful that the current marketplace trends will continue.

That’s apparently why two renowned Kansas State University (KSU) ag economists just posted a Beef Demand Prioritization fact sheet to help cattle producers and all other segments of the beef industry understand what’s likely on the horizon.

KSU Associate Professor of Livestock & Meat Marketing/Price Analysis Glynn Tonsor and Professor of Livestock Marketing Ted Schroeder posted the analysis on AgManager on Aug. 28, laying out possible scenarios and, maybe more important, opportunities and priorities for maintaining a strong beef marketplace in the years ahead.

When the folks at Beef Checkoff ran across the information they saw the value to ranchers– and the rest of the beef industry as well.  They contacted the authors and have gotten permission to share this information.

Agribusiness, Beef Checkoff, Education

Webinar for Small Meat Processors

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

NMPAN-header_r1_c1Niche Meat Processors Network (NMPAN) will be hosting a webinar in collaboration with Food Safety and Inspection Serivice to help producers understand the process for making specialty fermented and dried meat products.  With food products like jerky and biltong growing in popularity there are an increasing number of small processors making these items available.  HACCP requires these products to undergo “validated” processes to kill pathogens.

This webinar will teach small processors about tools that small processors can use to assure their products are safe and in compliance with regulations. It is an online version of a recent symposium at the 2015 International Association for Food Protection Conference in Portland, Oregon.

Speakers will be Meryl Silverman of the USDA-FSIS, Mohammad Koohmaraie from IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group and Barbara Ingham, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The 90 minute presentation is scheduled for September 30, 2015 at 1 PM Eastern, noon Central, 11 AM Mountain, 10 AM Pacific.

You do not need to pre-register to attend.  Simply go to https://connect16.uc.att.com/usda/meet/?ExEventID=85277207 a few minutes before the program is to begin and follow on-screen instructions. Call-in using telephone (888) 844-9904; passcode 5277207

The presentation will be using the FSIS webinar service, so please test that link with your computer ahead of time.

Agribusiness, Beef, Webinar

Register Now for Grassfed Exchange Conference

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

grassfed conferenceThe 2015 Grassfed Exchange Conference, “Generation sod Opportunity: Sun and Water, Sons and Daughters” will be held September 16th-18th in Mt. Pleasant, MI.  The board expects hundred of farmers, ranchers, and industry supporters to be there for this three-day event.

This year’s topics to be discussed will range from Ranch and Farm Success and Succession, to Harvest Sunlight, to Water to Grow Topsoil and Food and more. Inclu ded in the international conference is an all day tour featuring Graham’s Organics, an organic farm producing grass-fed beef, poultry and organic abattoir. The Michigan State University Lake City Research Center will also feature the latest in grass finishing and forage utilization research and outreach.

Highlighted speakers include:

Dr. Daphne Miller, author of “Farmocology”

Nicolette Niman, author of “In Defense of Beef”

Mark Schatzker, author of the books “Steak” and “The Dorito Effect”

In addition to these speakers the event will also offer presentations on topics such as grazing, small to medium size packing and processing, human health, and farm succession.

You can learn more and register at www.grassfedexchange.com.

Ag Group, Beef, Grassfed

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • ANIMART, LLC has announced the addition of Karla Meinholz, DVM to their Professional Services Team. She will work together with other ANIMART team members to provide comprehensive animal health solutions to dairy producers.
  • Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff, has hired Rex Martin as Senior Vice President of Owner Relations. Martin will be generating awareness of the checkoff’s mission and business plan.
  • Sarah Hill has been named Editor of DairyBusiness West magazine and will continue as Editor of DairyBusiness East. She will direct print and digital content for both titles.
  • BIOMIN has opened its new global headquarters in Getzersdorf, Austria. BIOMIN has continued to see growth supported by geographic expansion and recent product line successes with Digestarom®, a phytogenic feed additive, PoultryStar®, a multi-species probiotic for poultry, and of Mycofix® for mycotoxin deactivation.
Animal Bites

Learn How to Keep the Farm in the Family

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

agrilegacy-wesWe are seeing fewer and fewer young people returning the their family operations and just because you are blood doesn’t mean you have a right to the farm. Succession planning is one step many families forget about when it comes to the future. AgriLegacy is a growing Midwest company whose main focus is helping farm families keep the farms in the families and provide guidance in preserving a farm for heirs and minimizing potential estate taxes. I met with Wes Hentges, co-founder of AgriLegacy, during the Missouri State Fair to learn more about what they can offer farm families.

“We have a process we call Cultivating Future Generations. How do we bring them back to the farm? How do we make sure there is a place for them and that they have the right skill set to be on the farm? And that they aren’t just looking for a job, they are looking for a lifestyle and a career. We want to make sure they can add something to the farm that improves their quality of life and the farms at the same time.”

Wes says it’s about an opportunity and you have to take that opportunity and make something of it. Cultivating Future Generations has to be a process that people think through. It’s not about a person’s last name or sense of entitlement.

If you would like to learn more about preserving your family legacy, join the AgriLegacy team for their 8th annual farm succession event on January 19, 2016 in St. Joseph, MO. Register for the event and find a complete list of speakers here.

Listen to my complete interview with Wes to learn more about what AgriLegacy provides farmers and ranchers across the country when it comes to succession planning. Interview with Wes Hentges, AgriLegacy

Agribusiness, Audio, Farming, Ranches

New John Deere Self-Propelled Forage Harvesters

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

John Deere Forage HarvesterQuite a few new products were put on display for those of us in ag media last week. That includes three new models of the 8000 Series Self-Propelled Forage Harvesters.

“We took the momentum from the 8000 Series rollout last year and added to an already stellar lineup of forage harvesters,” says Tim Meister, division manager, marketing with John Deere. “The three new models make the John Deere SPFH lineup even stronger with the ability to deliver optimal harvesting speed, reliability and forage quality.”

Growers can choose from three new models:

8300, 483-horsepower with a Tier-IV Final 13.5-liter engine
8700, 755-horsepower with a Tier-II, non-EGR 19.0-liter engine
8800, 832-horsepower with a Tier-II, non-EGR 19.0-liter engine
Each model can be equipped with HarvestLab™, an advanced crop analysis and documentation component that uses constituent sensing to improve forage quality.

Headers for the SPFH machines include the John Deere Small Drum Rotary Harvesting units from 6-12 rows, John Deere Large Drum Rotary Harvesting units from 6-10 rows, and the all-new 9 Series Hay Pick-ups. All the John Deere headers are automatically speed-matched to the length of cut.

You can listen to my interview with Tim here to learn more: Tim Meister, John Deere

John Deere 2016 Product Reveal Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Forage, Harvest, Hay

NPPC Urges WOTUS Delay

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nppcFollowing Thursday’s federal court injunction against a new Clean Water Act (CWA) rule, the National Pork Producers Council says they strongly urge the Obama administration to delay implementation of the regulation.

The organization also again asked the administration to withdraw it and to work with the agriculture and business communities to craft a rule ensuring the cleanliness of the nation’s rivers, streams and other waterways that the public can understand and with which it can easily comply.

“NPPC applauds the District Court’s decision,” said NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C. “The rule that was blocked is vague and fails to let regulated parties know when their conduct violates the law.

“We all want clean water, but this regulation isn’t about clean water. This massive land grab is about federal control of private property, growing the size of government and allowing activists to extort and micromanage all kinds of farming and business activities.”

Ag Group, environment, EPA, NPPC