FDA Hosting Webinar on FSMA Draft Guidances

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

FDA The FDA Foods and Veterinary Program is hosting a webinar to discuss FDA’s recent announcement of the FSMA draft guidances for current good manufacturing practices requirements for food for animals and the human food by-products for use as animal food. The webinar is set to be held October 14, 2016, 1:00 – 2:00pm, ET.

The draft guidances were made in order to assist domestic and foreign companies in complying with Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements and with human food by-product requirements under the FSMA Preventive Controls for Animal Food Rule.

Interested webinar attendees can get access to the presentation by dialing in at the start of the program:

Domestic Phone Number: 1-888-972-9926
International Phone Number: 1-517-308-9155
Participant Passcode: 5552319

Ag Group, FDA, Policy, Webinar

Dairy Checkoff, McDonalds Serve Lattes to NYC Commuters

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

kendra-lamb2 In honor of National Coffee Day, New York dairy farmer Kendra Lamb teamed up with dairy checkoff partner McDonald’s in New York City to offer free lattes to New York City commuters and start several meaningful conversations about the milk used to make it.

The campaign was part of McDonald’s “food journey” to build awareness of the company’s commitment to quality ingredients and transparency. The lattes, each made with real, fresh milk, were served out of a pop-up café that McDonald’s set up near a subway stop at Columbus Circle.

Lamb was joined by her two daughters, and spoke with consumers about her career as a dairy farmer, and highlighted the work it takes to produce nutritious milk each day.

Ag Group, consumer, Dairy, Dairy Checkoff, Dairy Management Inc., Milk

American Association of Bovine Practitioners & Zoetis Award

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-8-10-25-amSixteen veterinary students from across the country were presented scholarships at the 49th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) in Charlotte, North Carolina, through the AABP Foundation – Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship program. The fourth-year veterinary students each received a $5,000 scholarship and travel to the conference.

“The AABP Foundation and Zoetis collaborate to provide students with an opportunity which not only relieves some financial pressure from the cost of their classroom education but also provides them with an opportunity to pursue AABP Annual Conference related networking and educational opportunities,” said M. Gatz Riddell Jr., DVM, executive vice president, AABP. “The combination of financial support and experience gained has an immeasurable impact on the scholarship recipients’ careers.”

The AABP Foundation – Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship program, established in 2009, was created to help encourage and support careers in large-animal veterinary medicine as part of the Zoetis Commitment to Veterinarians™ initiative. Scholarship applicants must be entering their senior year of veterinary school and are evaluated on academic performance, essay submission and involvement in bovine medicine and related extracurricular activities.

“We believe the combination of financial, experiential and mentorship support helps shape future veterinary leaders to support producers in raising healthy animals and producing safe food,” said Doug Braun, DVM, veterinary segment manager at Zoetis. “We have a strong veterinary community and know connecting students with these established leaders will continue to strengthen our industry.”

Agribusiness, Animal Health, award, Beef, Cattle, Dairy, Veterinary, Zoetis

1st Aerial Imaging Designed For Rangeland

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-4-58-10-pmTerrAvion has launched the first aerial imaging solution specifically designed for rangeland. The service provides current images and data that help cattle ranchers spot early-warning signs on invasive species, plant/vegetation health issues, irrigation problems, overgrazed areas and the like – so they can take action before emerging problems become big ones.

Every week, TerrAvion takes hundreds of low-altitude flights to capture bird’s-eye views of farms, and then uploads the images to the cloud within hours so ranchers and growers can plan scouting, management activities and interventions with unprecedented accuracy. TerrAvion imagery is much more detailed and up-to-date than satellite imagery, and far more cost effective than drone-based services. TerrAvion customers receive not only data but also aerial photographs, NDVI images, thermal images, custom color maps and histograms.

One of the first customers to utilize TerrAvion for rangeland is TomKat Ranch, an 1,800-acre cattle ranch in Pescadero, CA.

“TerrAvion’s imagery has made each of our team members more efficient and effective at their job. At a glance, the data give our team valuable insights into what’s happening across the entire ranch right now and can also be easily focused on a given area to see how fields are performing before and after they are grazed,” said Kevin Watt, Integrated Land & Livestock Manager at TomKat Ranch. “TerrAvion’s affordable and accurate imagery has also helped our team identify and address issues so much faster than before. It’s saving us a lot of time, and we expect it will save us a lot of money as well by helping us grow the health and productivity of our land and herds.”

Robert Morris, cofounder and CEO, TerrAvion, said that TerrAvion launched its new rangeland solution at the request of customers. “We’ve had great success helping growers improve crop yield through aerial imagery and data, and were approached by ranchers wanting something similar for rangeland,” said Morris. “Plant quality has a huge impact on the health and yield of cattle – an early warning system like TerrAvion can provide tremendous competitive advantage for ranchers.”

Aerial, Agribusiness, Grazing, Land, Precision, Ranches, Rangeland, Technology

Senate Passes Modernized Livestock Rule

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Senate ag committeeU.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, applauds unanimous Senate passage of H.R. 5883, the Clarification of Treatment of Electronic Sales of Livestock Act of 2016.

H.R. 5883 passed the House of Representatives earlier this week and is identical to S. 3350, introduced by Agriculture Committee Member Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. H.R. 5883 brings much needed clarity to the livestock marketing sector by making technical changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. Like all businesses, livestock auctions have evolved as technology has allowed for new forms of buying and selling livestock, such as video and online sales. As a result, modern methods of payment, such as use of credit cards, have become common place in the livestock marketing industry. H.R. 5883 revises the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to ensure that these types of businesses and forms of payment are allowed under the Act.

“H.R. 5883 is the sort of practical legislation I vowed to advocate for when I became Chairman of this Committee,” said Chairman Roberts. “It provides clarity to livestock markets that facilitate commerce in the livestock sector and in rural communities across the country by clarifying that modern business practices are permitted under Packers and Stockyards Act.”

“Today was a huge step forward for the livestock marketing industry bringing our main regulatory law, which dates back to 1921, into the 21st Century with some common sense updates,” said Dan Harris, owner of Holton Livestock Exchange and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Livestock Marketing Association. “We commend the Senate for its passage of this bill and especially appreciate the leadership provided by fellow Holton, Kansas native Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts in bringing this dream into reality.”

H.R. 5883 has the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Livestock Marketing Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, National Livestock Producers Association, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association.

Ag Group, Government, Livestock, Markets

Researchers Improve the Diet of Female Broilers

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

USPOULTRY_BlueUSPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Arkansas in Fayette, Ark., in which the researchers were able to improve the diet of female broilers.

The research was made possible by an endowing gift from Simmons Foods, and the research project is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. A brief summary of the completed project is shown below. A complete report, along with information on other Association research, may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website, www.uspoultry.org. The project summary is as follows.

Project #F061: Branched-Chain Amino Acid Requirement and Their Role in Protein Synthesis and Growth Performance in Female Broiler Chickens

Dr. Sami Dridi and Dr. Michael Kidd, from the University of Arkansas, recently completed a research project where they determined the ideal level of the amino acid valine that should be included in the diet of female broilers. They found that by optimizing the ratio of valine to lysine in the diet, improvements in body weight, feed conversion and breast meat yield could be achieved. In addition, the percentage of fat in the carcass was reduced. This is valuable new information for broiler nutritionists and broiler companies.

Ag Group, Chicken, Nutrition, Poultry, Research

Apply for BIVI Swine Research Awards

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-10-14-52-amThe Awards for Advancing Research in Respiratory Disease, with the financial support from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), has opened the call for entries for the 2017 research proposals.

Research proposals may be related to:
Porcine circovirus Type 2 (PCV2)
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae
Influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S)
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome

Practicing veterinarians and researchers seeking a Research Award need to submit a proposal by January 2, 2017. Three $35,000 awards will be available. Submissions are inclusive of research projects addressing some of the industry’s most pressing questions about the control and management of these infectious diseases.

“There are a host of respiratory diseases that impact production, performance and challenge producer’s bottom line,” says Dr. Daryl Olsen, AMVC veterinarian and member of the Respiratory Disease Research Board. “The Research Award Program showcases our commitment to meeting the industry’s need for applicable swine respiratory disease research.”

“The threat from swine respiratory diseases is always evolving, so ongoing research is necessary to find new and better solutions to problems that reduce production and profitability,” says Dr. Reid Philips, swine senior technical manager, BIVI.

AASV, Agribusiness, Animal Health, award, Boehringer Ingelheim, Swine, Veterinary

Proposed Estate Tax Regulations Threaten Family Businesses

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-logoThe National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) along with more than 3,800 organizations and family-owned enterprises sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew adamantly opposing and asking for withdrawal of the newly proposed estate tax regulations by the Department of Treasury. The proposed regulations under section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code would permanently change estate planning for families that own a controlling interest in a privately-held entity.

“The proposed guidance is one of the most sweeping changes to estate tax policies in the last 25 years and would be detrimental to active enterprises and family-owned businesses that employ millions of workers throughout the nation,” the letter reads. “In particular, these rules would impose significant new tax costs on family-owned businesses, diverting capital from business investment, costing jobs and threatening the ability of families to pass businesses on to the next generation of owners.”

Danielle Beck, NCBA director of government affairs, said the regulations would eliminate or greatly reduce available valuation discounts for family-related entities, which in turn increase the tax associated with common transfers including inheritance.

“These proposed regulations would eliminate or greatly reduce marketability for family related entities, effectively discouraging families from continuing to operate or grow their businesses and pass them on to future generations,” said Beck. “Producers are often forced into selling land or cattle in order to pay the tax, and in some cases, are put out of business. The Administration is causing unnecessary economic harm to family businesses.”

NCBA urges the Department of Treasury to withdraw the proposed estate tax regulations.

Ag Group, Beef, Farming, Ranches

Americans Embrace Sausage as a Staple

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nhdsc-logo-newest-darkNew polling shows sausage is an American favorite no matter how it’s prepared. October is National Sausage Month and nearly nine in ten Americans (89 percent) say they enjoy sausage, including 93 percent of men and 85 percent of women. Choosing a favorite type, however, is far more divisive. Italian sausage (20 percent) and breakfast patties (20 percent) are the two most popular styles of sausage followed by breakfast links (15 percent) and bratwurst (12 percent).

The research was conducted online in September 2016 among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older by Harris Poll for the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC).

The poll found that favorite sausages vary quite a bit regionally. Northeasterners are most likely to say Italian sausage is their favorite (33 percent), while more Southerners enjoy breakfast patties (26 percent). Midwesterners are most likely to prefer Bratwurst (19 percent).

“Sausage is one of our most versatile foods, as it can be eaten on its own for any meal, combined in a recipe or even as a dip, said NHDSC President Eric Mittenthal. “No matter how it is eaten, Americans know that including sausage is guaranteed to make for a delicious dish.”

Ag Group, Food, Meat, Pork

Cuba Embargo – Here to Stay or Gone Tomorrow?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s your opinion of the Bayer-Monsanto deal?”

The mega merger is still in the news and a small majority of pollers seem to believe the Bayer-Monsanto deal is bad news for the industry. As the companies work out the kinks farmers will soon see what the future holds and how this consolidation will impact their bottom line.

Here are the poll results:

  • Better solutions for farmers – 26%
  • Bad news – 37%
  • Consolidation is inevitable – 22%
  • Don’t know- 10%
  • Don’t care – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, How should U.S. normalize relations with Cuba?

The U.S. Ag Coalition for Cuba represents about 120 national groups each working collectively on individual interests with the common goal of improving trade relations with Cuba. Cubans seek to normalize relations with the U.S. which would include the U.S. lifting the embargo, extending credit to Cuba ensuring future trade deals and opening borders allowing U.S. citizens to travel as tourists to Cuba. Trade would open doors for U.S. agriculture and tourism would seal the deal on demand for U.S. goods. However, many believe any business with Cuba is bad business because of it’s history. Tell us how you feel…end the embargo, open-up tourism for U.S., neither or both?