Animal Ag Applauds Appointment of Trump Ag Advisor

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Animal agriculture applauds White House appointment of Ray Starling, current chief of staff for Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., to the position of Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Aid.

John Weber, president of the National Pork Producers Council said, “By picking a true champion of American agriculture to serve in this key advisory role, President Trump is sending a clear signal of his commitment to reverse unnecessary regulations inhibiting pork producers and all U.S. farmers from doing what they do best: supplying the world with the most nutritious, affordable and abundant food available. Growing up raising hogs on a farm in North Carolina that his family continues to operate today, Ray’s long, distinguished career in agriculture policy has always been informed by a deep understanding of pork producers and a sector so vital to our economy and national security. We look forward to working with Ray and the Trump administration to address the needs of rural America.”

Colin Woodall, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s senior vice president of government affairs, said, “This is great news not just for America’s cattle producers, but for America’s entire economy. In short, Ray Starling gets it. He has a sharp understanding of how the economy works, and especially how the agricultural sector operates and benefits the citizens of every state in the nation, while also providing the world’s safest and most prosperous food supply. This is an A+ appointment, and we look forward to working with Ray and the rest of the president’s team on behalf of the American beef industry.”

Ag Group, Beef, Food, Government, NCBA, NPPC, Policy, politics, Trade

Tune in for our New SMART Farmer Podcast

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

We are pleased to introduce the very first SMART Farmer podcast which features interviews with the people who use data and technology to be more sustainable and to help build a smarter version of the American farm and ranch.

In this first episode, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance CEO Randy Krotz talks about how people can relate to the SMART Farm concept – just like a smart phone or a smart home. Then we visit with Katie Brenny from the recent Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show to find out how she and her husband use the latest technology to produce beef more sustainably on their operation in Minnesota.

Listen to the first podcast:
SMART Farmer Podcast with Katie Brenny

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Audio, podcasting, SMART Farmer, sustainability, Technology, USFRA

Aptimmune’s Barricade, A Vaccine Formulation Tech for Pigs

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Founded in 2010 by Dr. Federico Zuckermann, Aptimmune Biologics has meshed together some of the best in class technologies into a product able to deliver revolutionary results to producers. Barricade is the latest in vaccine formulation technology brought to producers exclusively by Aptimmune. Launched as an autogenous product, the intranasal mucosal inactivated vaccine for PRRS, brings together the best concepts in vaccine delivery and methodology people can use.

Aptimmune held a product launch with an audience of swine veterinarians sharing the research and science behind Barricade. There I sat down with Aaron Gilbertie, CEO, Aptimmune, who said “ZMAC cells are the macrophage which is very susceptible to PRRS. We have a patented cell line that allows us to isolate and grow the virus giving us the advantage to be able to deliver to the field a relevant autogenous product.”

Aaron said the process begins with veterinarians submitting the right isolate to partner, Iowa State University for isolation. From there it is sent to the manufacturer where it is grown to high titer and put together with a composition of nanoparticles and adjuvant. Then it’s applied through a multi-dose nasal spray applicator providing easy dose in the field.

Listen to my complete interview with Aaron to hear more about the product presentation and where you can go to learn more: Interview with Aaron Gilbertie, CEO, Aptimmune

View and download photos from the event here: Aptimmune Launch of Barricade Photo Album

AASV, Agribusiness, Animal Health, Audio, Pig, Pork, PRRS, Research, Swine, Technology, Vaccine

Legislation Pushes New Labeling Laws for Soy, Almond Milk

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Soy and almond milk producers may soon face new labeling laws if new industry-backed legislation, sponsored by a pair of dairy state lawmakers, attracts more support in Congress.

The Dairy Pride Act, sponsored by Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, would enforce longstanding FDA definitions (CFR 131.110) that define milk. The new bill expands the definition of milk to include the “lacteal secretions” of other hooved animals such as goats and sheep. Its sponsors argue that “plant-based products labeled as milk are misleading to consumers.”

The legislation would force companies to remove the word “milk” from their labels, and is opposed by the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the Plant-Based Foods Association. These groups produce products such as soy milk and almond butter. The American Soybean Association claims that very few consumers think milk is an ingredient in soy milk, claiming that consumers deliberately choose non-dairy milks.

The bill is supported by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), which represent dairy producers. The two organizations spent nearly $1.5 million on lobbying during 2016. In a joint statement, the groups said the bill is necessary “to defend the integrity of federal food labeling standards and prevent the misbranding of dairy imitators.”

The House version of the bill, HR 778, has six other cosponsors, including Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.). California, Wisconsin and Idaho are all major dairy producers.

Ag Group, Dairy, FDA, idfa, Milk, National Milk, Policy

NSF International Joins AMSA Sustaining Partners

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

NSF International has joined 35 other companies and institutions as a member of the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Sustaining Partners Program, which recognizes the organizations and institutions that provide significant financial and logistical contributions for the products and services offered by the organization.

“More and more, companies are requiring that their suppliers follow specific animal feed and welfare guidelines. NSF International is a company that can assist in these areas by bringing consistency and compliance to farms, transportation, and slaughter facilities. Our on-farm and processing expertise positions us to support integrated operations and companies. As expectations continue to increase, organizations will need to adjust. Whether it’s ensuring compliance with FSMA rules or meeting customer requirements, NSF International is here to help companies prepare every step of the way,” stated Robert Prevendar, Global Managing Director, Supply Chain Food Safety, NSF International.

Manufacturers, regulators and consumers look to NSF International for the development of public health standards and certification programs that help protect the world’s food, water, consumer products and environment. The NSF International Global Food Division operates in 168 countries, with an office network, laboratories, and auditors in the field of all major and developing food supply regions around the world. NSF International farm to fork consulting, training, technical, auditing, certification, and testing services operate throughout the supply chain and across all industry sectors. NSF International provides services through local hubs, ensuring the integrity of the service delivery through rigorous quality and management systems and a continuous process of calibration.

“NSF International has a longstanding trusted reputation because they pay close attention to the science of food safety. We welcome them as Sustaining Partners and look forward to the inclusion of their scientists within the AMSA community. This expands the opportunities for collaboration in the meat science community even further,” states Thomas Powell, AMSA Executive Director.

AMSA, Company Announcement, sustainability

Grassland Dairy Products Joins DSSA

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Grassland Dairy Products has is the newest member of the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance (DSSA), a diverse group of partners who have come together to ensure that all touchpoints in the production of dairy foods are continuously improving.

The goal of the alliance is to show tangible continuous improvements in animal care, environmental conservation, food safety and other practices through collaborative efforts in all aspects of the dairy community.

Grassland Dairy Products joins a host of other partners in a working group charged with developing the program: American Society of Agronomy, Dairy Business Association, Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, Foremost Farms USA, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, The Nature Conservancy, Peninsula Pride Farms, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and Yahara Pride Farms.

“Our dairy farmers are committed to producing milk in a sustainable manner for the environment, their animals, employees and business in general. Grassland is excited to cultivate this knowledge and offer a platform on which farmers can share that knowledge to the betterment of the dairy community and dairy market as a whole,” said Trevor Wuethrich, president of Grassland Dairy Products. “Dairy farmers are innovative by nature and the DSSA allows a platform to build on that unique skill set.”

The alliance focuses on establishing “milksheds” throughout Wisconsin. A milkshed is a group of farms working together with a dairy processor. Farmers and their processor use established tools to measure their environmental footprint and track progress toward being more sustainable. Combining farm data with processor data provides customers with a more complete picture of the overall sustainability of Wisconsin’s dairy community.

Ag Group, Dairy, Dairy Strong, sustainability

Animal Ag & Ethanol Working Together

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

L-R: RFA CEO Bob Dinneen, former NPPC president Randy Spronk, NCGA CEO Chris Novak

At the National Ethanol Conference this week, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen sat down with representatives from the corn and livestock industries to talk about the current state of the farm economy, the policy impact of historic surpluses, and moving past food versus fuel.

Dinneen discussed common ground with National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak and National Pork Producers Council past president Randy Spronk. Listen to the discussion here: #RFANEC Ag Groups discussion

National Ethanol Conference photo album

Ag Group, Audio, ethanol, Feed, NPPC

KS Dairy Farmer Testifies to Senate Ag Committee

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Kansas dairy farmer Lynda Foster says dairy farmers need Congress to make improvements in the dairy title of the farm bill this year, and not wait until 2018. In a field hearing Thursday on the campus of Kansas State University, Foster told members of the Senate Agriculture Committee that “dairy farmers deserve better” than the current Margin Protection Program (MPP).

“We need Congress to act swiftly this year and make the necessary changes in order for our industry to be able to protect ourselves from the bad year that could arrive at any time, even in years where experts are predicting higher margins.”

She testified on behalf of her cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America and the National Milk Producers Federation.

The MPP has failed to provide the level of protection envisioned in its original form. This has resulted in decreased participation in the program and dissatisfaction among dairy farmers across the country, Foster said.

Read More

Ag Group, Dairy, Dairy Group, DFA, Milk, National Milk

Study of Antibiotic Use on Farms & Resistant Salmonella

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

A team of interdisciplinary scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Charleston VA Medical Center Research Service recently reviewed published literature for evidence of a relationship between antibiotic use in agricultural animals and drug-resistant foodborne Salmonella infections in humans, commonly known as salmonellosis.

According to the 2013 CDC Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report, two of the eighteen pathogens that are of concern in the United States may have a direct link to agriculture — one of them being Salmonella.

The study — conducted by veterinary and nutrition scientists and an infectious disease physician — reviewed 104 articles in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Scotland and Ireland over the past five years and has been published in [volume 57, issue 3] of Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Animals included in the reviewed studies were chicken, turkeys, pigs, beef cattle, and dairy cows.

Read More

Ag Group, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Research, Salmonella

Watch Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman at Commodity Classic

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman will preview at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas before it airs worldwide on Discovery Channel in August. Based on a book by the same name, the Discovery Impact film weaves together the stories of a Montana rancher, two Kansas farmers and a handful of Gulf fishermen who feed the world while stewarding the land and water they work.

“The men and women profiled in the book and film work tirelessly to protect America’s natural resources, make their operations more productive and resilient and leave a legacy for their children. They don’t receive much credit for their conservation achievements, and we’re trying to change that,” said Miriam Horn of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“Most farmers I know have spent a lifetime trying to do a better job of protecting the soil and water resources on their farms. This love of the land and how to grow crops more sustainably is passed down in many cases for four generations or more,” said Brent Hostetler, National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Sustainability Action Team chairman and a farmer from Plain City, Ohio. “This project opens public dialogue to challenge traditional notions and shows how modern farming and environmentalism can go hand in hand.”

Horn authored Rancher, Farmer Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland, on which the film is based. NCGA and EDF will host an audience Q&A with Horn after the screening. The screening and audience discussion will be held in the Lila Cockrell Theatre during Commodity Classic’s Closing Learning Center Session on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 1:30–3:30 pm CDT. Anyone with a Commodity Classic badge may attend.

Ag Group, Conservation, environment, Farming, Fish, Ranches, sustainability