Lawsuit to Protect Farmer Data Dismissed

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Agricultural organizations seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency from releasing personal information of livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were dealt a blow this week when the federal district court in Minnesota dismissed the lawsuit.

fbThe court concluded that no federally permitted livestock or poultry farmer is injured by such disclosure because the Clean Water Act mandates disclosure of information concerning permit issuance. For livestock and poultry farmers without a Clean Water Act permit, the court concluded that so long as the farmer’s personal information can be found somewhere on the Internet, EPA’s distribution of that same information does not result in any injury to the farmer. The court noted that a farmer with a public Facebook page used to promote the farm, or whose information could be found via search engine or any state regulatory website in any form, has no right to sue to stop the federal government from compiling and distributing that information.

Plaintiffs in the suit were the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council, which now have 60 days to appeal the decision. “Farmers, ranchers and citizens in general should be concerned about the court’s disregard for individual privacy,” said AFBF president Bob Stallman. “This court seems to believe that the Internet age has eliminated the individual’s interest in controlling the distribution of his or her personal information. We strongly disagree.”

Prior to the AFBF suit, EPA had already released personal information of farmers and ranchers from 29 states. AFBF filed suit to block further disclosures regarding farmers and ranchers in Minnesota, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma and Washington.

AFBF, Government, Livestock, NPPC

Poultry Industry Supports TPA

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

As U-S trade representative Michael Froman appeared before congressional committees this week to stress the need for the president to be granted Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), poultry producers were talking trade issues in Atlanta at the IPPE.

usapeec.sumnerUSA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) President Jim Sumner says TPA is critical to getting major trade agreements with Asia and Europe approved. “Actually I think we got the cart before the house on this,” said Sumner. “We should have had TPA before we went out and started the negotiations with these countries so that they have the assurance that they can give us the best deal and Congress is going to accept it…We need to have these trade agreements and we need Congress to get on board.”

Sumner says big trade issue for the poultry industry right now is the banning of U-S poultry imports by China and two other countries due to the discovery of high pathogen avian influenza in wild birds on the West Coast and now in a California commercial turkey flock. “To think that you have to ban all poultry imports from the entire United States is really overreaction,” he said, especially since China is even banning imports of breeding stock from the U.S. “The United States supplies 95% of the primary breeding stock for China,” said Sumner. “How is China going to continue to grow and develop their industry without the necessary breeding stock.”

Sumner says a regionalized approach, such as banning imports from affected states or even counties, makes more sense and is what the World Organization for Animal Health recommends.

Listen to Jamie’s interview with Jim Sumner here: Interview with Jim Sumner, USAPEEC

Photos from the event can be found here:
2015 International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by NOVUS
Audio, Export, IPPE, Poultry, Trade

Food Dialogues on Animal Care

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

USFRA Food DialoguesThe first Food Dialogues event of 2015 in live right now. The focus is on “Animal Care and Consumers’ Emerging Expectations.” It is being held in Florida in conjunction with the International Dairy Foods Association meeting taking place there. The event is also sponsored by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

The Food Dialogues panel of food industry and animal care experts will discuss the various tools and strategies that farmers, ranchers and veterinarians use to promote animal health and a safe food supply. These animal care techniques and practices – from housing to the use of antibiotics – are increasingly more important to food manufacturers and consumers as they’re making sourcing and purchasing decisions. Join the discussion to learn if what is happening on farms and ranches across the nation is meeting the consumers’ expectations.

The panel includes:

Moderator: Elisabeth Leamy, journalist, author and Dr. OZ consumer and investigative correspondent

Bruce Feinberg, global animal health and welfare officer, McDonald’s
Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D. , president and CEO of the American Humane Association
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation
Dr. Marcia Endres, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor of dairy science, University of Minnesota
Mike Reidy , senior vice president of corporate affairs, Leprino Foods
Chuck Ahlem, dairy farmer, Hilmar Jerseys, Hilmar, California

The event live stream will be recorded so that you can watch it later.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Animal Welfare, Antibiotics, Dairy, Food, USFRA

Sustainable Nutrition Solutions from Novus

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ippe-15-81-editedThe International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is well underway and the Novus International team was out in full force to share key elements in their sustainable nutrition solutions for the animal protein industry.

I spoke with Ed Galo, Managing Director for Novus in North America, and he said that beyond presenting their sustainable nutrition solutions to customers they were also highlighting the 10 year anniversary with MINTREX.

“MINTREX is not like other mineral sources. On top of being an excellent product to optimize the nutrition and health and performance in livestock, it also offers the ability for producers to have a positive impact on the environment.”

Listen to my complete interview with Ed where he explains more about MINTREX and the importance of sustainability at Novus. Interview with Ed Galo, Novus International

ippe-15-79-editedIn the Novus booth, I also spoke with Scott Moore, Executive Manager for the Mono-gastric Division at Novus International. Scott discusses some challenges their customers face in the market and more about the focus on sustainability in highlights from their 6th Annual Sustainability Report.

“We recognize the need to protect the environment. We recognize the need to really provide products that are consumer and customer friendly. We have made the investments in technology that will allow our customers to do that.”

Learn more about Novus International’s presence at IPPE and their sustainability efforts in my complete interview with Scott. Interview with Scott Moore, Novus International

Photos from the event can be found here:
2015 International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by NOVUS
Agribusiness, IPPE, Novus International, Nutrition, sustainability

Chicken Wings are Super Bowl Winners

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Chicken wings are hands down the big favorite of Super Bowl fans, according to the National Chicken Council .

super-bowl-wingsThe Council’s 2015 Wing Report estimates that 1.25 billion wings will be eaten during Super Bowl XLIX this weekend as fans watch the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots, but wing lovers from coast to coast differ as to what they like with those wings.

The data shows that more than four in five U.S. adults (81 percent) eat chicken wings, and more than half (56 percent) of them say they typically like to eat their wings with ranch dressing, according to a new National Chicken Council poll. After ranch dressing at the top, 42 percent of wing lovers choose barbecue sauce as a typical snack or dipping sauce; 36 percent said blue cheese; 36 percent hot sauce; 35 percent celery; and 20 percent choose carrots. Ten percent of wing lovers describe themselves as “purists who eat nothing with their wings.”

The survey asked which dipping sauces or snacks chicken wing eaters typically like to eat with their wings. They could choose more than one option.

Northeastern wing eaters are significantly more likely to prefer blue cheese dressing (49 percent) than those in the Midwest (36 percent), South (30 percent) and West (30 percent), while those regions are more likely to prefer ranch dressing.

In this interview, National Chicken Council Vice President of Communications Tom Super talks about chicken wing preferences and trivia.Interview with Tom Super, National Chicken Council

Food, Poultry

Download the Annual Meat Conference Mobile App

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.15.03 PMThe 2015 Meat Conference will take place in Nashville, TN February 22-24. Make plans to attend and be sure to checkout the mobile app that is now available.

This year’s app is sponsored by Kayem Foods. Use it to plan your visit to the exhibit hall ahead of time or determine what educational sessions you would like to attend. Through the app you can also create your own schedule, view the conference agenda, look up infomation on exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and much more.

The Meat Conference app is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry users.

Ag Group, Apps, Meat

USPOULTRY Lamplighter Award Winners

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

2015_USPOULTRYLamplighter_Adams copyU.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) presented the organization’s annual Lamplighter Award to three individuals at the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2015 International Production & Processing Expo. The award pays tribute to individuals for “sustained and exemplary service” to the poultry and egg industry.

This year’s honorees are:
James Adams, Wenger Feeds
Jay Houchin, Farbest Farms
Dr. Greg Rosales, Aviagen

2015_USPOULTRYLamplighter_DrRosales copySeveral members of USPOULTRY’s Financial Management Seminar planning committee also received the organization’s Lamplighter Award. It is a different approach recognizing a group of individuals, members of the Financial Management Seminar planning committee with continued personal involvement for the last two decades, plus. “We are pleased to recognize their enduring service in one of our longest-running and most popular industry seminars,” said 2014 USPOULTRY chairman, Elton Maddox, Wayne Farms, Oakwood, Ga., in making the presentations. “These individuals represent a legacy of service of many more who have made significant contributions to the seminar over the years and to whom we are also grateful.”

Committee members honored include:
Bob Childress, Frost PLLC
Alan Duncan, Mountaire Farms
Eddie Elrod, Fieldale Farms
Greg Finch, Claxton Poultry
Steve Jurek, GNP Company
Mike Popowycz, Case Farms
Ron Van Es, Tyson Foods
Seals Burdell, USPOULTRY

Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by NOVUS
Ag Group, IPE, IPPE, Poultry, US Poultry

New Z Tags® Z2 No-­Tear-Tagging System

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

z2-featureDatamars, Inc., a global leader in livestock identification ear tags, announced the introduction of its revolutionary new Z Tags® brand Z2 No-Tear-Tagging System for livestock.

Unlike conventional two‐piece tagging systems, the Z Tags® Z2 No‐Tear-Tagging System features a unique new applicator with a kickback jaw that automatically retracts once the tag has been inserted. This patented feature, combined with a flip-out pin, greatly reduces the risk of ripped or torn ears while contributing to faster healing and improved tag retention.

“Most livestock producers have experienced the drawbacks of conventional two‐piece tagging systems,” noted Stu Marsh, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Datamars. “An animal often jerks its head when the tag is inserted, and if you’re not quick enough in manually retracting the jaws, there’s a high risk of tearing the ear. But with our new Z2 No-Tear-Tagging System, the jaws automatically snap open once the tag is inserted. The result is a cleaner insertion site that heals faster with less risk of infection and a lower probability of lost tags.”

In addition to the revolutionary tagger, the new Z Tags® Z2 No-Tear‐Tagging System features state-of-the‐art ear tags with greater flexibility, readability and durability. “The Z2 No-Tear-Tagging System was first introduced in Australia, where it is part of the official government livestock identification program,” Marsh stated. “While much of the credit for better retention goes to the tagger, our new Z2 tags feature flexible polyurethane panels that bend without breaking. Of course, Z Tags® have always been known for their legendary readability and durability, and our new Z2 tags certainly live up to that lofty reputation.”

Marsh added that the new Z2 tags come in four different sizes (small, medium, large and maxi) and 14 different colors. Producers can choose from laser-printed or blank tags, with the readability of the laser-printed tags guaranteed for the life of the animal.

Agribusiness, Beef, Cattle, Dairy, Equipment, Livestock

USPOULTRY Presents 2015 Industry Awards

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

2015_USPOULTRYWorkhorseofYear_Starkey copyJohn Starkey, president of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), was named the Association’s Workhorse of the Year during the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2015 International Production & Processing Expo. The poultry industry’s most esteemed honor is given annually in recognition of dedicated service and valuable leadership given to the Association and poultry industry.

Starkey was “collared” with the long-established horse collar by 2014 Workhorse of the Year recipient, Dr. Hongwei Xin. He was also presented with a commemorative plaque by newly elected 2015 USPOULTRY chairman, Sherman Miller, Cal-Maine Foods, Jackson, Miss.

Starkey received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, his MS in Sanitary Engineering from Georgia Tech and is a registered professional engineer in several states. Prior to joining USPOULTRY, Starkey worked with Gold Kist, Hudson Foods and Vaughn, Coltrane & Associates. Starkey was appointed president of USPOULTRY in 2007.

2015_CharlesBeardAward_DrBilgili copyUSPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation also recognized Dr. Sacit “Sarge” F. Bilgili, professor of Poultry Science at Auburn University, as the 2015 recipient of the annual Charles Beard Research Excellence Award. The award is named in honor of Dr. Charles Beard, former director of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory and retired vice president of research at USPOULTRY.

Dr. Bilgili was selected for this prestigious award based on his exceptional research to enhance efficiency and product quality in the broiler industry. During the course of his research, Dr. Bilgili and his colleagues have received numerous research grants to investigate methods to improve the quality and safety of broiler products and improve poultry production methods. Dr. Bilgili has an impressive record of communicating his research findings to the broiler industry and assisting in implementing innovations.

Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by NOVUS
Ag Group, IPE, IPPE, Poultry, US Poultry

Miller Named New USPOULTRY Chairman

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

2015USPOULTRYChairman_Miller copyToday we begin our coverage of the 2015 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA. In conjunction with the event is the International Poultry Expo (IPE) where U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) holds their annual board meetings.

Sherman Miller (pictured right), Cal-Maine Foods, Jackson, Miss, was elected chairman of the board of directors of USPOULTRY. Miller previously served as vice chairman and was presented with the time-honored “working man’s gavel” by 2014 chairman, Elton Maddox.

Other board members include:
Vice Chairman – Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, Ellsworth, Iowa, was named vice chairman. A native of Iowa, he was instrumental in the founding of West Liberty Foods, a farmer-owned company, in 1996. He is currently chairman of West Liberty Foods, as well as president of Circle Hill Farms. In addition, he is a past chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

Treasurer – Jerry Moye, Cobb-Vantress, Siloam Springs, Ark., was named treasurer. He spent 16 years in integrated chicken production for two large US integrators, Showell Farms of Maryland and Zacky Farms of California, before joining Cobb-Vantress in 1991 where he held a variety of positions. He is currently president of Cobb-Vantress, Inc.

Secretary – Tom Hensley, Fieldale Farms, Baldwin, Ga., was named secretary. Before joining Fieldale Farms, Hensley was a tax manager at Price Waterhouse & Co. He is currently president of Fieldale Farms where he has worked for 38 years, as well as a member of Fieldale Farms Corporation Board of Directors. In addition, he is past chairman of the National Chicken Council and a life member of the Georgia Poultry Federation.

Immediate Past Chairman – Elton Maddox, Wayne Farms, Oakwood, Ga., is immediate past chairman. Maddox joined Wayne Farms in 1974 and worked in a number of management positions within the company. He is currently president and CEO of Wayne Farms. In addition, he is a past chairman of the National Chicken Council and the Georgia Improvement Association and a past president of the Georgia Poultry Federation and the Georgia Poultry Processors Federation. He has served on the USPOULTRY board of directors since 2007.

Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by NOVUS
Ag Group, IPE, IPPE, Poultry, US Poultry