DeLaval Expands Social Media Efforts

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Delaval_Logo_CMYK_NEWDeLaval Inc. announced the launch of its United State’s Facebook page. The page will be targeted toward the US market to improve customer engagement in the region and reach new audiences. It will connect a diverse range of dairy farmers from various geographical regions to facilitate the sharing of thoughts and ideas. The page will communicate information such as updates for trade shows, open houses and other events in real time. It will also showcase product innovations, promotions, general industry information and trends. DeLaval’s Facebook page will add another platform for customer interactions as it joins the company’s other social network sites Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram.

The US Facebook page will target the American dairy industry to address its unique needs. Regular updates planned for the page include instructional videos, featured dairy farms, and interesting facts and figures. A recurring theme will be “Feeding Fridays” which will provide beneficial forage information designed to help maximize a farmer’s investment. Though DeLaval will manage the page, producers are encouraged to participate to share their experiences and best practices.

“We are leveraging Facebook as another means of creating dialog with our customers. As technology continues to evolve, we will use it to our advantage to provide added value for them,” states Mac Canali, Marketing and Communications Manager for DeLaval North America, “DeLaval has always been an industry pace-setter due to our premium products and strong customer relationships. Our Facebook page will be another tool for us to strengthen those relationships.”

Agribusiness, Dairy, Social Media

CWT Assists with Export Sales

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

CWT-logo6Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 8 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), and Tillamook County Creamery Association who have contracts to sell 1.122 million pounds (509 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda, and Monterey Jack cheese and 85,980 pounds (39 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from April through October 2015.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives who have contracts to sell 28.878 million pounds of cheese, 24.388 million pounds of butter, and 8.739 million pounds of whole milk powder to twenty eight countries on five continents. The amounts of and butter in these sales contracts represent the equivalent of 879.062 million 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 U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

The amounts of cheese 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

The Science Behind Food Safety

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

cms-15-168-editedFood safety is on the hearts and minds of all throughout the agriculture community. So, there is no doubt it was a hot topic during the recent Chicken Media Summit held on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and sponsored by the National Chicken Council and US Poultry & Egg Association. Dr. Ashley Peterson, VP of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the National Chicken Council served as moderator for a panel on food safety in the poultry industry.

The entire food safety system was discussed by each panelist and Dr. Peterson reminded us that science is at the forefront of the complete system. “Food safety is the number one priority so every time the consumer has a healthy eating experience.”

“It’s a federal requirement that every single bird get inspected. That is different from an FDA regulated plant where an inspector might come in less frequently. We have someone there 24/7. Inspectors are looking at quality and food safety issues.”

In my interview recalls are further explained and Dr. Peterson said her take home message she wants all to know is every serving of chicken, whether it’s domestic or shipped international is as safe as possible. She said they are always using the technologies they have, but are always looking for new research and science enabling them to do better.

Listen to my complete interview with Dr. Peterson here: Interview with Dr. Ashley Peterson, National Chicken Council

Find photos from the event here: 2015 Chicken Media Summit Photo Album

Ag Group, Audio, Chicken, Food, food safety, Poultry, US Poultry

How Will High Path Avian Flu Impact Industry?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is your favorite alternative fuel (to gasoline)?”

A hands down winner in this week’s poll on alternative fuels was ethanol. Which is not a surprise. However, many may be surprised to see the clear runner-up was solar. We had many chime in for the other category. A few of those included: algae diesel, biohydrogen and biobutanol.

Here are the poll results:

  • Biodiesel – 10%
  • Ethanol – 42%
  • Propane – 9%
  • Natural gas – 7%
  • Wind – 6%
  • Solar – 17%
  • Other – 9%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, How will high path avian flu impact industry?

The states impacted by high path avian flu are on the rise. The most recent outbreak in Iowa on a chicken egg farm has led us all to wonder the short and long term repercussions it will have on the industry, exports and prices for the consumer. In this week’s ZimmPoll we want to know if you think this flu strain will transform the industry or will it bounce back quickly?


Zoetis Executive Receives Agribusiness Leader Award

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Clint LewisDuring the 2015 Agri-Marketing Conference the National Agri-Marketing Association presented the Agribusiness Leader of the Year Award to Clint Lewis, Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Operations, Zoetis.

This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, recognizes outstanding leadership in private, public or academic service and is conferred each year to a senior agribusiness executive who not only exemplifies excellence in agribusiness but has also made significant contributions to the industry.

Zoetis is the world’s largest animal health company, established when Pfizer announced that its animal health business would become an independent company. Mr. Lewis helped launch the entity and now oversees the management of the livestock (cattle, pork, and poultry) and companion animal (small animal and equine) businesses in the United States and is also responsible for leading the global genetics business.

Clint says he defines the business he runs as from the “petables to the edibles – every livestock operation regardless of size and complexity.”

You can listen to Clint’s remarks here: NAMA Agribusiness Leader Clint Lewis, Zoetis

2015 Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the 2015 Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by New Holland and Brownfield Ag News
Coverage of the 2015 Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by New Holland     Coverage of the 2015 Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by Brownfield Ag News for America
Agribusiness, Audio, Zoetis

Minnesota Gov Declares Emergency Over HPAI

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 10.53.53 AMMinnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued Emergency Executive Order 15-09, declaring a Peacetime State of Emergency in Minnesota in response to the discovery of H5N2 avian influenza cases statewide.

Under the Governor’s Executive Order:
– The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) will activate the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan to support the efforts of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, to coordinate response efforts across all agencies of state government.

– Supplementing Emergency Executive Order 15-06 extending relief to certain motor vehicle drivers and carries pertaining to hours of service, in addition to the previous exemption of weight restriction.

– And the Adjutant General of Minnesota will order to state active duty such personnel and equipment of the military forces of the State as required, and for such a period of time as necessary to provide assistance and emergency relief services.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Government, Poultry

NUTRIQUEST Welcomes New Team Members

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nutriquestNUTRIQUEST, is a new model for animal nutrition suppliers, would like to welcome a new director of poultry technology and human resources manager to their growing team.

Chet Wiernusz, Ph.D., has joined the company as Director of Poultry Technology. Wiernusz will be responsible for leading the research and technical support functions for NUTRIQUEST in the poultry sector with an initial focus on expanding NUTRIQUEST poultry research capabilities. The addition of Wiernusz’s position reinforces an increased commitment from NUTRIQUEST to deliver research proven real solutions to the poultry industry. Prior to joining NUTRIQUEST, Wiernusz served 18 years with Cobb-Vantress, Inc. most recently as director of world feed milling and nutrition. Wiernusz graduated with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Nutrition from Oklahoma State University and resides in Siloam Springs, AR with his wife and daughter.

Deb Blaser-Gretillat, has joined the company as Human Resources and Information Manager. Blaser-Gretillat will be responsible for managing human resources, information technology, and systems integration. Prior to joining NUTRIQUEST, Blaser-Gretillat served 14 years with Kingland Systems, a global leading software company, most recently as the Human Resources Director. She worked previously in banking with responsibilities including data center management and internal audit. She is a graduate of Buena Vista University and resides in Clear Lake, Iowa with her husband and family.

Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Nutrition

Chicken Litter – A Hot Commodity

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

cms-15-141-editedJenny Rhodes, Extension Educator for University of Maryland in Queen Anne’s County and local poultry farmer, was asked to attend the 2015 Chicken Media Summit to talk about chicken manure. For her first 10 years in extension, Jenny wrote nutrient management plans. These plans are state mandated and any farmer meeting it’s requirements must have one for their operation.

“In the plan, we estimate the amount of manure on their farm and then work in a prescription approach. We test the soil, we test the manure, we know what nutrients the crop is going to take in and we write the farmer a prescription for that.”

Jenny sat on the myths and facts panel during the event and busted the myth that chicken litter is a waste product and farms are major sources of pollution. In fact, we heard from a local farmer that he wanted to buy chicken manure and couldn’t even find it. The hot commodity is an excellent source of fertilizer for all crops and these nutrient management plans aid farmers in knowing the exact amounts needed for an individual field.

“We are family farmers and we all want the same thing. We all want clean water and safe food.”

Learn more about nutrient management plans in my complete interview with Jenny here: Interview with Jenny Rhodes, University of Maryland Extension

Find photos from the event here: 2015 Chicken Media Summit Photo Album

Ag Group, Audio, Chicken, environment, Fertilizer, National Chicken Council, Poultry, US Poultry

Proposed Labor Rule Could Hurt Sheep, Goat Producers

John Davis Leave a Comment

asi1A new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) could hurt sheep and goat producers, especially those on the western open ranges. This news release from the American Sheep Industry says the significant changes to regulations governing the employment of non-immigrant H-2A workers as sheepherders, goat herders and for the production of livestock on the open range upsets decades of practices that have served the industry well.

A 2014 court order directed the DOL to engage in a notice-and-comment rulemaking to formalize special procedure guidance that has governed the H-2A sheep and livestock herding occupations for decades. The H-2A program was instituted in the 1950’s and has been used successfully ever since.

The proposed changes issued by the department include definitions that do not accurately reflect the unique characteristics of the industry, inadequate job description parameters and an alarming wage methodology that will triple labor costs and impose additional expenses on employers.

“It is highly unlikely that sheep producers could absorb the proposed extra costs and many, if not all, of them will be forced out of business, meaning the end to family farms and the loss of thousands of U.S. jobs throughout the American West,” says Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI).

“The court order directed the department to simply offer the special procedure guidance for public comment, not to change the substance,” comments Kelli Griffith, executive director of Mountain Plains Agriculture Service. “Yet, the DOL proposed rule makes substantial changes that will exclude many current operators from utilizing the program and will result in an untold number of livestock producers being forced out of business.”

ASI says that even the DOL acknowledges that its proposal “will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities” but seems to disregard this economic impact on the businesses that supply those employers or process their products. Studies have shown that each H-2A herder position creates eight U.S. full-time jobs. The loss of each H-2A position will mean the loss of those jobs, largely in small western towns.

Those in the industry are encouraged to submit comments to this proposed rule on or before May 15.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Government, Labor, Sheep

USDA Research Grants to Increase Food Security

John Davis Leave a Comment

USDA_logoNew research grants to minimize livestock losses to insects and diseases are expected to boost food security. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is handing out the $3 million in grants for the studies under NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

“These grants will allow scientists to discover the new tools and technologies necessary to deal with the threats insects and pathogens pose to livestock production in our nation, which ultimately benefit consumers through abundant, affordable food.” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director.

NIFA made the awards through the AFRI Food Security challenge area, which seeks to increase sustainable food production. Priority was given to projects that will improve prevention, early detection, rapid diagnosis, or recovery from new, foreign, or emerging diseases or arthropods (like fleas and ticks) that have the potential to cause major impacts on food security. NIFA will make additional awards later this spring through the AFRI Food Security challenge area that focus on minimizing crop losses by arthropods and diseases.

The fiscal year 2014 awards are:

Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Miss., $47,464 – To create a portable computer and communication center for training veterinary students, graduate students, practicing veterinarians, and other food production stakeholders to use system dynamics modeling, other forms of stochastic and deterministic modeling and health data management or analysis software to protect livestock from pests and disease.
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $1,460,000 – Develop knowledge-based integrated approaches to detect, control, and prevent poultry respiratory diseases in the United States through new and improved diagnostic tools, vaccines, and novel preventive measures.
University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt., $1,480,000 – Reduce the impact of new, emerging and foreign pests and diseases to domestic production of cattle, swine and small ruminant foods and byproducts.

The research funded under the grants includes alternatives to antimicrobials, such as improved vaccines, which could lead to a decrease in antimicrobial use and lower the chances for antimicrobial resistance.

Agribusiness, Antibiotics, Food, Livestock, usda