To Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

july-4th-2015When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Wishing you a safe and blessed Independence Day!


Digi-Star Introduces Rate Control Manure Spreaders

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

DS_NT8000i_011215Digi-Star introduces the NT 8000i rate control system for manure spreaders. The NT 8000i is a weight-based system that improves application efficiency by varying the unloading rate in proportion to ground speed.

The NT 8000i is a closed-loop rate control system designed to provide precision guidance and prescription-based control of the spreading rate in hydraulically driven apron floor systems on manure spreaders using data collected and evaluated in real time.

“The unique feature of the NT 8000i is the weight-based self-calibration and calibration-check system that continuously monitors and readjusts the calibration factor based on the actual weight of the material spread,” says Jack Danner, Digi-Star sales manager. “The NT 8000i system provides enhanced spreading rate accuracy when working with challenging materials of varying densities such as manure, litter or compost.”

With complete as-applied data records saved to an SD card, NT 8000i applicators are equipped with automated traceability allowing them to meet the recordkeeping needs of land owners and government agencies. The system also reduces operator mistakes and fatigue with its fully automated spreader controls.

The NT8000i earned an AE50 award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) earlier this year. AE50 awards recognize the most innovative designs in engineering products or systems for the food and agriculture industries.
For more information on the NT8000i, call (920) 563-1400 or email:

Agribusiness, Equipment, Fertilizer

Regional Swine Health Symposium

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

muThe Missouri Pork Association and University of Missouri Extension will host a Swine Health Symposium on July 20 at the University of Missouri Bradford Research Center.

The symposium, which took the place of the MPA Swine Veterinarian Seminar, provides information for veterinarians and pork producers on issues facing the swine industry. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 3:45 p.m.

The lineup of speakers this year includes university faculty, the state veterinarian, swine operation owners and Missouri producers who are leading a regional effort to eradicate Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. There will also be representatives from the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board addressing other issues in several sessions.

“We have a range of topics, from practical ‘in-the-barn’ issues to cutting-edge technology and a little look into the future,” said MU Extension state swine specialist Tim Safranski.

The symposium is open to pork producers, veterinarians and members of the industry. There is no cost to attend the event, but you must register online or call (573) 445-8375 before July 14.

The Missouri Veterinary Medical Board has approved the event for 6.5 continuing education credits for veterinarians.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Pork, PRRS, Swine

6th National Conference on Grazing Lands

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.26.00 PMThe Sixth National Conference on Grazing Lands (6NCGL) will take place on December 13-16 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX. The event is being hosted by the National Grazing Lands Coalition (NatGLC) with the goal “To Heighten Awareness of the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Grazing Lands.”

The 6NCGL will provide those attending an opportunity to gain the latest information in scientific and applied research, and practical workable applications for building partnerships with a concentration on management methods that are successful in bridging agricultural needs with environmental and social benefits.

The 6NCGL will have a variety of presentations ranging from the Western to the Eastern United States. In addition, the Texas Grazing Lands Coalition has offered up a host of presentations dealing mainly with Central grazing lands. Key presentations will come from two National Environmental Stewardship award winners: Gary Price of the 77 Ranch, from Blooming Grove, Texas, and Frank Price of the Frank and Sims Price Ranch in Sterling City, Texas.

Ag Group, Land, Livestock

Groups File Lawsuit To Vacate ‘WOTUS’ Rule

John Davis Leave a Comment

us-capitol-fiscal-cliff-voteMore than a dozen farm groups have joined together to file a lawsuit to vacate a new Clean Water Act (CWA) regulation, better known as the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.

The National Pork Producers Council says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have overstepped their bounds with the rule with an unconstitutional rule.

“The final rule is vague and fails to let regulated parties know when their conduct violates the law,” said NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C. “We’re asking the court to find the rule arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law; and to find that it’s unlawful because it’s contrary to constitutional rights and powers, inconsistent with the agencies’ statutory authority under the CWA and was promulgated without following procedures required by law. The bottom line is we want the court to set aside the rule.

“We all want clean water,” Prestage said, “but this rule isn’t about clean water, it’s about EPA and the Corps taking over private property, growing the size of government and micromanaging hundreds of farming and business activities.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council, also a part of the lawsuit, expressed similar concerns.

“The WOTUS rule remains a top priority for our producers and for all landowners nationwide,” said Philip Ellis, NCBA president and Chugwater, Wyo., cattleman. “While cattlemen have long asked for greater clarity around the Clean Water Act, this rule does the opposite, rendering jurisdictional determinations so vague and subjective that our members cannot possibly make a determination as to what basic ranching activities will subject them to criminal and civil penalties under the Clean Water Act. We remain committed to working with the administration, Congress and through the courts to stop this rule.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation, American Petroleum Institute, American Road and Transportation Builders, Leading Builders of America, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Manufacturers, National Corn Growers Association, and National Mining Association have also joined in the lawsuit.

AFBF, Ag Group, Agribusiness, Beef, Cattle, Government, legislation, NCBA, NPPC, PLC, Pork

What’s On Your Grill This Holiday Weekend

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Will EPA change RFS volume proposal?”

The EPA recently released a new proposal for biofuels volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard – one that has made no one happy but particularly corn farmers and ethanol producers who note that the agency is not implementing the law as intended. EPA held a public hearing to get comments on the proposal but will it lead to a change? Half of those who took our recent poll believe that the EPA won’t change RFS volumes. Time will tell.

Here are the poll results:

  • No – 50%
  • Yes – 29%
  • Maybe – 21%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What’s on your grill this 4th of July?

Beyond fireworks, grilling seems to be a top priority when families and friends gather to celebrate Independence Day. July is also known as National Hot Dog Month. So, will you be joining the tradition by eating hot dogs on the 4th or will you be grilling up something else?

ethanol, ZimmPoll

Cargill Contributes $750,000 to Fair Oaks Farms

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

cargill_logoCargill was recognized at a grand opening ceremony of the Pork Education Center at Fair Oaks Farms for its $750,000 contribution that will enable Fair Oaks Farms’ non-profit arm to educate students and the general public on modern agriculture production practices that benefit the environment, use fewer natural resources, and improve sustainability for crop and animal production.

The contribution will be used for the development of interactive, educational kiosks and curriculum, as part of a cafeteria learning center that will be built in 2016. The facility will be used to educate visitors and students about the agriculture industry, sustainable practices and production methods.

Fair Oaks Farms is one of the biggest and most sophisticated dairies in the country, set on 32,000 acres and home to 37,000 cows, divided among 11 different milking operations producing enough milk to feed more than 8 million people annually.

In addition to The Dairy Adventure, Fair Oaks Farms unveiled The Pig Adventure in 2013, which includes a 3,000 sow breed-to-wean production facility and the ability to accommodate tours. Visitors witness sow breeding, gestation and farrowing areas that allow for both safety of the animals and visitors. In 2014, an 18,000-square-foot restaurant including banquet facilities opened to accommodate increased demand from visitors. Eighty percent of the menu includes foods grown or manufactured on the farm. Adjacent to the restaurant is a bakery and farmer’s market that sells products from the farm daily.

“Throughout Cargill’s 150-year history, we have supported local communities in which we have the privilege to operate,” said David Webster, president and business unit leader of Cargill’s premix and animal nutrition business. “Fair Oaks Farms is a shining example of our support for not just the community, but also our customers and ultimately the consumers we serve.”

“Together, we believe it is critically important to reach young students, especially in their formative years, with a positive message about agriculture so they understand more about their food, how it is produced and that we have a safe food supply with many healthy choices available from modern agriculture practices,” said Charles Shininger, managing director of Cargill’s premix and nutrition business in North America.

Agribusiness, Education, Farming

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • Micreos, a major supplier of bacteriophages in the U.S. market, has appointed Bert de Vegt as Managing Director of Micreos Food Safety and a member of Micreos management team.
  • Following the evolution of the Allflex Group highlighted by the recent acquisitions of SCR (Israel) and SureFlap (USA), Brian Bolton has been named chief operating officer of the Allflex Group of companies worldwide, and Glenn Fischer will assume the role of president of Allflex USA.
  • The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) awarded two Roy A. Wallace Memorial Scholarships. Congratulations to Matthew McIntosh, a student at the University of Connecticut and Joshua Hasty, a Ph.D. candidate at Colorado State University. The scholarship fund was established by Select Sires.
  • Nedap, a global leader in livestock management systems, announced the hiring of Brad Carson. Carson joins the U.S. swine team as a sales representative and will serve as a resource on swine management and technologies.
  • The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) announced that Dr. Keith Belk, AMSA member and past president, was recently named the new Ken and Myra Monfort Endowed Chair in Meat Science at Colorado State University (CSU).
Animal Bites

CWT Assists in Cheese & Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

CWT-logo6Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 17 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association, and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) who have contracts to sell 354,944 pounds (161 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda, and Monterey Jack cheese, and 2.028 million pounds (920 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from June through November 2015.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives who have contracts to sell 38.402 million pounds of cheese, 30.395 million pounds of butter and 22.099 million pounds of whole milk powder to twenty eight countries on five continents. The amounts of cheese, butter and whole milk powder in these sales contracts represent the equivalent of 1.200 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively impacts all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

The amounts of dairy products and related milk volumes reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.

Ag Group, Cheese, cooperatives, cwt, Milk

Witnesses Announced for Hearing on Avian Flu

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Senate ag committeeU.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, has announced witnesses for the Committee’s hearing on the impacts of highly pathogenic avian influenza on the U.S. poultry sector and protecting U.S. poultry flocks. The hearing will take place on July 7 at 3:00pm EST at the Russell Senate office building in room 328A.

Panel I
Dr. John R. Clifford, Deputy Administrator, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
Dr. David Swayne, Laboratory Director, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Athens, Ga.

Panel II
Mr. James R. Dean, Chairman, United Egg Producers, Sioux Center, Iowa
Mr. Ken Klippen, President, National Association of Egg Farmers, Collegeville, Penn.
Mr. Brad R. Moline, Manager, Owner, Moline Farms LLC, Manson, Iowa
Mr. Rob Knecht, President, Vice President of Operations, Michigan Allied Poultry Industries and Konos, Inc., Martin, Mich.
Dr. Thomas Elam, President, FarmEcon LLC, Carmel, Ind.

Ag Group, avian flu, Government, Poultry