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

Alltech Features 15 Research Abstracts at 2015 JAM

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

alltechAlltech, global animal health and nutrition leader, will showcase 15 abstracts at the Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) in Orlando, Florida, from July 12-16.

“This year’s abstracts highlight Alltech’s continued commitment and partnership with academia to find innovative strategies and applicable on-farm data,” said Dr. Karl Dawson, vice president and chief scientific officer at Alltech. “Through scientific exploration on industry issues, Alltech Research aims to addresses real production needs and implement new technologies along with systems and services to achieve sustainable profitability for our customers. We look forward to sharing this information at JAM.”

The research posters to be presented at this year’s can be found here.

Agribusiness, Alltech, Dairy, Research

SRS Specialists Meet For Advanced Training

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Select-Sires-logoMore than 50 professional Select Reproductive Solutions™ (SRS™) specialists from Select Sires’ member organizations and Select Sires GenerVations gathered for the annual SRS Conference held June 15-18 in Madison, Wis. The four-day conference incorporated both classroom and on-farm training allowing attendees to share ideas and learn about the latest in reproductive technology.

“Besides the educational aspects, the conference is a great networking event that allows the SRS specialists from across the federation to see what others with similar responsibilities are doing,” stated Dr. Ray Nebel, vice president of technical service programs. “We had the opportunity to collaborate, brainstorm and learn new skills.”

Outside of the classroom, SRS specialists participated in the annual RePRO Analysis™ challenge. Attendees were split into small teams and worked together to evaluate a dairy and present their findings to the entire conference. Similar to Dairy Challenge, this real-world experience allows SRS specialists to collaborate with their peers from around the country. Select Sires would like to thank Spring Grove Dairy, Brodhead, Wis., Larson Acres Dairy, Evansville, Wis., Rosendale Dairy, Pickett, Wis. and Murph-Ko Dairy, Fond du Lac, Wis. for taking part in the conference.

Select Sires recognizes that a one-size-fits-all approach to reproductive management does not work in today’s dairy industry. That’s why dairy producers trust Select Sires’ highly trained SRS specialists to help design a customized reproductive program that’s right for their needs. SRS specialists offer a Portfolio of Reproductive Solutions™ that consist of reproductive troubleshooting using Select RePRO Analysis, dairy records and management analysis, professional turnkey technician service, estrus-synchronization programs and assistance, SelectCheck™ heat detection training, English and Spanish training resources, professional A.I. training, heat detection aids and nutritional supplements.

Agribusiness, Breeding, Cattle, Reproduction, Select Sires

MO Supreme Court Upholds Farming Rights Amendment

John Davis Leave a Comment

MCAThe Supreme Court of Missouri has held the election results on the 2014 “Farming Rights Amendment” as valid, calling the ballot title “sufficient and fair, and so there was no election irregularity.” The decision was welcomed by Missouri Cattlemen’s Association President (MCA) Janet Akers.

“This decision was no surprise to me or to this association. The Farming Rights Amendment (Amendment 1) passed and the language was concise and very clear. It is disappointing that some individuals and organizations waited until the amendment passed to call the ballot language into question,” said Akers. “It was a case of sore losers looking to continue their baseless claims. We are proud of the decision today and proud of Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander for the job he did on this issue.”

Akers went on to say that the plaintiffs in the case, Wes Shoemyer, Darvin Bentlage and Richard Oswald, should be ashamed of themselves for “this ludicrous lawsuit” that “wasted taxpayer dollars.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Government, legislation

July 4th Biggest Hog Dog Weekend of the Year

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

hero_bumperAmericans are expected to eat more than 150 million hot dogs over the July 4th weekend, appropriately kicking off July as National Hot Dog month.  Independence Day will be celebrated with fireworks and more hot dogs than any other time of the year– enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times.

“There’s no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with the all-American hot dog,” said Janet Riley, National Hot Dog and Sausage Council president and ‘Queen of Wien.’ “No matter how you top it, the hot dog is the food that everyone craves to make the Independence Day weekend complete.”

To celebrate the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) is offering fans and chance to win hot dogs and other prizes by creating a bumper sticker slogan.  Hot Dog enthusiasts can submit up to three clever slogans to contest@hot-dog.org by Junly 10.  Finalist slogans will be featured on the Facebook page, where fans will vote for their favorite.  The winner will be announced on July 22, National Hot Dog Day.

“Hot dogs aren’t just great for backyard barbecues, they’re also great road trip food, so we decided to combine these two American pastimes,” said Riley. “With the bumper sticker, people can share their hot dog love wherever they go.”

The person who submits the best bumper sticker slogan will win a $100 gift card for their favorite hot dogs plus a Curl-A-Dog spiral hot dog slicer. Second place wins a $50 gift card for their favorite hot dogs. The top three choices will all win NHDSC t-shirts and a bumper sticker with the winning slogan. Full contest guidelines and rules are available at http://www.hot-dog.org/media/contests.

To see how hot dogs are made, review an etiquette guide, read hot dog history, and learn trivia visit the website.

Agribusiness, contest, Food

DairyPRO’s Meeting at Ag Progress Days

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

DairyProThe Center for Dairy Excellence and the Penn State Extension Dairy Team will host DairyPRO’s breakfast meeting focused on dairy farm business transformation at Ag Progress Days, Wednesday, August 19, from 7:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m., in the Theatre area.

“We are excited about our lineup of speakers for this meeting,” said Emily Yeiser, dairy initiatives manager at the Center for Dairy Excellence. “We have four exceptional panelists who will provide their insight on the start to the finish of a building project.”

Discussion will focus on farm transformation, the permitting process, and cash flowing the project. Dairy producer, Tim Kurtz owner of Kurtland Farm from Berks County, will speak on his experience of completing an expansion project, while Jeff Ainslie, vice president of RedBarn Consulting, Inc., will walk through the permitting process. Dan McFarland, agricultural engineer educator for Penn State Extension, will talk to issues related to new animal shelter design and existing facility improvement, while Tim Beck, Penn State Extension, will speak to cash flow need for the process.

Exclusively for dairy professionals, DairyPRO’s is designed to provide the opportunity for participants to gain information that could help their customers go from “good” to “great.” The August meeting is intended to give those dairy professionals already attending Ag Progress Days an opportunity to learn more about topics that will impact their customers.

To register, contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or by email at manderson@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

Ag Group, Dairy, Finance