The Ivy League Farmer Video From Diamond V

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

diamond-vA new feature film, The Ivy League Farmer, tells the story of a father and son in conflict over the use of modern technologies on the family dairy farm. It’s also a love story that explores a rural community’s concern about local kids not getting enough to eat.

Diamond V recognizes food security as a growing concern worldwide. Today, every 3.6 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies of hunger. Seven million children starve to death every year. Another 870 million people suffer from malnutrition.

“In many countries,” says Jeff Cannon, Diamond V President and CEO, “rapid population growth, fragile ecosystems, and limited natural resources impact people’s food supply. In wealthier developing countries, growth in per capita food demand is a factor.”

Food security is an issue in the U.S. too. Even though this country has one of the safest and most affordable food supplies in the world, 15% of Americans suffer from food insecurity. Even in Iowa, one of the top agricultural states, there are communities where 1 in 4 school-age children get their only meal of the day at school. Operation Backpack, organized by volunteers in eastern Iowa, provides kids in need a backpack that contains food for the weekend.

Cannon points out that most of the world’s land suitable for farming is already in production. What this means, he says, is that an estimated 70% of future increases in food production capacity must come from new and improved agricultural technologies.

“One of the major challenges,” Cannon says, “is helping consumers better understand the real choices confronting us now and in the years ahead as we try to produce enough safe, sustainable, affordable food at home and abroad.”

Operation Backpack Initiative, a non-profit Diamond V venture, is taking on that challenge.

Operation Backpack Initiative seeks to increase public understanding of modern agriculture in an entertaining, enjoyable way. The venture’s first project is a feature length film entitled The Ivy League Farmer — a love story that also stars modern agriculture in the fight against food insecurity. Use the password “ivy” to access the trailer.

Agribusiness, Nutrition, Video

House Committee Calls for Repeal of WOTUS

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-200The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for sending a clear message to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers that the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule is an expansion of federal jurisdiction that strips rights from private property owners.

Passing the full Committee today by a vote of 36 to 22, H.R. 1732 Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 requires the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw the WOTUS proposal within 30 days. NCBA President Philip Ellis said cattlemen and women appreciate the Committee’s efforts for moving legislation forward that addresses the problematic proposed rule.

“The subjective and ambiguous language of the proposed rule would significantly broaden the federal government’s power to regulate waters and adjacent lands that convey water,” said Ellis. “We also appreciate the legislation requiring the federal government to work with state and local governments, further protecting states’ rights.”

The bill also charges the agencies with developing a new proposed rule that must take into consideration all of the comments received and reach consensus with the state and local governments on defining “Waters of the United States.”

“The Administration’s proposed rule is nothing more than regulatory land grab vastly expanding federal authority,” said Brenda Richards, PLC president and rancher from Idaho. “Instead of proactively reaching out to stakeholders before proposing the rule, the Administration pushed forward a rule that didn’t take into account the concerns of agriculture.”

NCBA and PLC urge Congress to act on this important piece of legislation without delay.

Ag Group, Beef, Government, NCBA, Water

FDA: Antimicrobial Resistance Cases Decreasing

John Davis Leave a Comment

ncc_logoGood news for the meat industry. Two new reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show that antimicrobial resistance in certain bacteria isolated from raw meat and poultry collected through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) are decreasing in occurrences. This news release from the National Chicken Council (NCC) says the 2012 Retail Meat Report and the 2013 Retail Meat Interim Report had the good news.

NARMS focuses on resistance to antibiotics that are considered important in human medicine as well as multidrug resistance (described by the FDA as resistance to three or more classes of antibiotics). Under the NARMS program, samples are collected from humans, food producing animals and retail meat sources, and tested for bacteria, specifically non-typhoidal Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Enterococcus, to determine whether such bacteria are resistant to antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine.

Among the key findings of the reports released today:

• A recent decrease in third-generation cephalosporin resistance among poultry meats continued in 2012 and 2013.
• Resistance in Salmonella from retail chicken declined from a peak of 38 percent in 2009 to 28 percent in 2012 and continued to decline to 20 percent in 2013.
• Salmonella from retail meats remained susceptible to ciprofloxacin, one of the most important antibiotics for treating Salmonella infections. Similarly, Salmonella from retail meats were susceptible to azithromycin, another important antibiotic recommended for treatment of Salmonella and other intestinal pathogens.
• There was a continuous decline in the overall proportion of Salmonella isolates that were multi-drug resistant between 2011 and 2013.
• In 2012, only 1% of C. jejuni from retail chicken were resistant to erythromycin, the drug of choice for treating Campylobacter infections.

NCC officials welcomed the trends, saying examining the patterns is much more meaningful to public health outcomes than looking at antibiotic sales data. These reports also provide a strong case that the continued judicious use of antibiotics by poultry and livestock producers is aiding in the reduction of resistance in various foodborne pathogens.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Chicken, Food

AMSA Pork 101 at Texas A&M

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

pork-101Registration for the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) PORK 101 that will be held May 19-21, 2015 at Texas A&M University ends May 9th. PORK 101 is hosted by AMSA in cooperation with the National Pork Board and is sponsored by Elanco Animal Health.

To help minimize travel costs, the three day program will begin at 10:00 AM on May 19th and conclude at noon on May 21st for afternoon departures. Find the course outline and registration at the PORK 101 website.

PORK 101 attendees will learn about the value differences in swine, pork carcasses, pork primals and processed pork products from meat science faculty and AMSA members at Texas A&M University.

The program features:
• Live Hog Grading and Evaluation
• Lean Value Pricing
• Quality Management at Slaughter
• Slaughter Floor HACCP
• Measuring Carcass Quality and Composition
• Process Control Testing
• Fresh Sausage Production
• Pork Carcass Fabrication
• Value Addition
• Consistency Improvement
• Enhanced Pork Production
• Curing Production
• Retail and Consumer Issues

PORK 101 is co-sponsored by the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP), American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), North American Meat Institute Foundation (NAMIF) and the Southwest Meat Association (SMA). Registration for AMSA members and other partnering organizations is $800. Non-member registration is $950.

Ag Group, American Meat Science, Education, Pork

More High Path Avian Flu Cases Found

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

chickensMore cases of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) have been confirmed this week by USDA.

An additional eight commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota were confirmed on Monday bringing to 22 the total number of confirmed cases in Minnesota. These flocks are within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

In the past week, cases of the disease were found in three more states – Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota – bringing the total number of states with confirmed cases to 12.

Poultry, usda

Early Registration for Alliance Summit Ends Today

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

animal agThe extended early registration deadline for the 2015 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders’ Summit ends today. After today the cost for registration increases by $50-75.

The Summit will be held May 6-7 and will feature industry experts discussing about how animal agriculture is using technology to rise to the challenge of feeding a growing and hungry world.

“Animal agriculture faces a tough task as we seek to produce enough protein for an exponentially growing planet,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “By incorporating technology, farmers and ranchers have taken on that challenge while remaining mindful of the environment by decreasing rates of water use and greenhouse gas emissions.”

This is the first year that the Summit is being held outside of the Washington, DC area. This year’s event will explore animal agriculture’s continuous efforts to embrace new technologies that will help feed a growing population while measuring sustainability, engage consumers in innovative ways to bridge the knowledge gap, and highlight initiatives that demonstrate agriculture’s commitment to transparency.

Animal Ag Alliance, Livestock

April’s Dairy Market Report

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

dairy market reportThe National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Management Inc. have brought you the April Dairy Market Report.

The average all-milk price was $16.80 per hundredweight in February, 80 cents below the January price. Federal order class prices for March indicate that the steep slide in milk prices during the last quarter of 2014 and early 2015 may have come to an end. USDA has announced that the two-month average margin under the Margin Protection Program for Dairy during January and February was $7.99554 per hundredweight. Payments therefore should be made at the rate of $0.0046 to producers who signed up for margin coverage at the maximum level of eight dollars per hundredweight. U.S. dairy exports will likely remain below year-ago levels until the second half of 2015. Moderating increases in U.S. milk production, coupled with domestic consumption growth, are counterbalancing declining exports and keeping domestic markets relatively balanced for cheese and milkfat in all products.

Here is the complete report.

Ag Group, Dairy, Markets, National Milk

Vietnam Lifts Restrictions on U.S. Beef

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

usmefIn this week’s USMEF audio report, technical services manager, Dr. Travis Arp discusses Vietnam’s recent removal of BSE-relatred restrictions on imports of U.S. beef. They now are accepting a full range of cuts from U.S. cattle of all ages.

Dr. Arp explains, that Vietnam reopened to boneless U.S. beef cuts in 2005 and added bone-in cuts in 2006. But in both cases, access was limited to beef from cattle less than 30 months of age. With this latest development, exporters can now ship a full range of beef cuts and face fewer regulatory hurdles when serving the Vietnamese market. For example, no USDA export verification (EV) program is needed, and segregation of cattle at the processing plant is no longer required.

Vietnam is also a participant in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Full access to the Vietnamese market will allow the U.S. beef industry to better capitalize on tariff rate reductions that may be achieved through the TPP.

Weekly USMEF Audio Report
Ag Group, Audio, Beef, Cattle, Export, Imports, Meat, USMEF

De Boer Named as North East Sales Representative

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

DS_Paul De Boer_041015Paul De Boer has been appointed as the North East regional sales representative for Digi-Star, LLC, a Wisconsin based manufacturer of advanced measuring systems and software used in the precision agriculture sector.

“Paul’s extensive dairy background and TMR Tracker® install experience will be an asset to new and current Digi-Star customers,” says Jack Danner, Digi-Star sales manager. Danner added, “Paul’s passion for increasing milk production through consistent nutrition will be an added value our dairy customers.”

De Boer, previously worked with De Laval Dairy Service and Cargill Inc., in Vermont. While De Boer was with Cargill he was responsible for the installation and education of TMR Tracker® for customers in his territory. De Boer holds a Bachelor of Science in applied economics and management, farm business management and finance from Cornell University.

Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Precision

Elanco To Provide Eggs to Fight Hunger Through HATCH

John Davis Leave a Comment

hatch2aElanco has teamed up with the Kroger Co.’s Central Division, Rose Acre Farms, Gleaners Food Bank and Midwest Food Bank to help fight hunger by providing eggs to undernourished people of all ages. This company news release says HATCH is an innovative partnership of community leaders, government officials, association representatives and food shoppers that will provide one egg to a local food bank for each dozen Kroger-brand medium eggs purchased at 66 central Indiana Kroger stores through June 20.

“Fighting hunger and undernourishment through sustainable, local partnerships is a priority for Elanco, and is at the very heart of the HATCH initiative,” said Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco, the company that developed HATCH. “We believe HATCH will become a model for how communities can come together to create food security. That’s why we are thrilled to partner with Kroger, Rose Acre Farms and Central Indiana food banks to bring this first HATCH project to life.”

Undernourishment is a worldwide problem that affects people’s health, and how they remember, solve problems and make decisions. In the United States, one in five people do not have access to enough protein and other nutrients to meet their body’s needs. Indiana faces a similar challenge, with undernourishment affecting children, senior citizens and their families.

“Hunger is a daily reality for too many neighbors in the local communities Kroger serves,” said Jeff Burt, president of the Kroger Central Division. “Programs like our Perishable Donation Partnership® — and now HATCH — are important ways we help families put nutritious food on their plates every day. HATCH will allow us to focus the generosity of Kroger customers and associates on providing critically needed protein. Kroger has been fighting hunger for 132 years. It’s time to take that fight to the next level and HATCH will do that. Simply by buying a dozen medium eggs, we can ensure our neighbors in need benefit from the nutrients eggs provide.”

The project starts off with 2,880 dozen eggs from Elanco, Rose Acre Farms and Kroger.

For more information is available at or through social media – #HATCHforHunger.

Agribusiness, Eggs, Elanco