- Jon Thompson is the new Strategic Account Manager for Ceva Animal Health’s swine division. Thompson has most recently worked for Bayer Animal Health.
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is inviting members to “Blaze a Trail” to the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention on January 31- February 2 in Phoenix, Arizona. Registration will open October 2.
- Crystal Ripp will be returning to the World Dairy Expo as Trade Show Manager, a position she previously held for three years. She will oversee booth sales, on-site management, and daily communications.
- Alltech presented their 34th Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award to Matthew Aardsma from Perdue University at the Poultry Science Association meeting in Orland last week. This award demonstrates the company’s commitment to research and innovation.
The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) has partnered with U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to start a program to help urban teachers learn more about agriculture so they can teach it to their students. To kick it off, educators in Minneapolis and Sacramento are invited to take a farm tour at the end of August to engage with farmers and others who work in the agriculture industry.
“We hope to teach the teachers,” said MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka. “We want to make sure that teachers in large cities hear the story of agriculture and have the tools to help them teach.”
The teachers who take part in the program will learn about innovation in today’s agricultural industry, sustainability, crop biotechnology, animal health and welfare. They will also learn more about USFRA’s Discovering Farmland curriculum and receive an iPod Touch and virtual reality headsets to help incorporate agricultural videos into their curriculum and classrooms.
The Minneapolis event will be held August 29 and the Sacramento event will be on August 31. Click on the links for registration information and details. There is no cost for participation and the curriculum tools are free.
Learn more in this interview and if you can help get the word out in Minneapolis and Sacramento, please do: Interview with Tom Slunecka, MSR&PC CEO
USDA is making the use of additional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands available for emergency grazing and haying in and around portions of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota affected by severe drought.
“We are working to immediately address the dire straits facing drought-stricken farmers and ranchers,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “USDA is fully considering and authorizing any federal programs or related provisions we have available to meet the immediate needs of impacted producers.”
Secretary Perdue adds that epic dry conditions, as high as D4 in some areas, coupled with an intense heatwave have left pastures in poor or very poor condition “resulting in the need for ranchers to, at best, supplement grain and hay and at worst, sell their herds.”
This new order supplements the previous CRP authorization announced on June 23.
Cattle producers seek depredation order from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service allowing producers to control an invasive vulture species stalking and killing livestock. I was recently in North Central Arkansas where I saw first hand the devistation the Black Headed Vulture leaves in it’s wake.
Adam McClung, Executive Vice President, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association (ACA), said, “The Black Headed Vultures and the depredation loss cattlemen are seeing has been an ongoing discussion inside the ACA with policy for a number of years. Over the last few years, the stories and testimonies we get from cattlemen give evidence of the birds moving from a migratory to predatory.”
The aggressive birds are protected under the Miragroty Bird Act and the Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma Cattlemen Association’s have come together taking policy to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. This created a greater voice for reaching out to elected officials stressing economic loss and the need to measure populations and migratory patterns of these birds.
Farmers take steps during calving season to protect their cattle, but there simply isn’t much that can be done to detour these aggressive birds. The solution to any migratory bird problem is proper management. When it comes to these birds, population reduction is the answer. Farmers can obtain annual permits to begin eliminating the invasive species. These permits will allow measurable data to be collected and used to justify the management needed. Controlling bird population without a permit can put producers in violation of the Migratory Bird Act which has serious penalties. The number of birds permitted is given on a case by case basis according to the % of population found.
“We want some help. Let’s measure these populations. Are these birds migrating or are they staying here year round,” said McClung. ACA has had many meetings with USDA-APHIS and U.S. Fish & Wildlife to get everyone on the same page with what the permit means and how it works. “Our end game and the reason for the policy is a depredation order to be filed by U.S. Fish & Wildlife. We want our cattlemen to have the right to take at time of loss.”
Listen to my complete interview with Adam and watch This Week in Agribusiness this weekend for the complete story: Interview with Adam McClung, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) joined more than 100 other agricultural groups and industry leaders in calling for Congress to establish and fully fund a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The letter said: “An outbreak of FMD will have a devastating effect on all of agriculture – not just livestock producers – and will have long-lasting ramifications for the viability of U.S. agriculture, the maintenance of food security in this great nation, and overall national security. An outbreak of FMD would immediately close all export markets. The cumulative impact of an outbreak on the beef and pork sectors over a 10-year period would be more than $128 billion… The annual jobs impact of such a reduction in industry revenue is more than 58,000 in direct employment and nearly 154,000 in total employment.”
NCBA President Craig Uden said, “Simply put, we cannot afford to be locked out of valuable foreign markets again,” Uden said. “It’s taken us well over a decade to get back up to speed in Asia after the 2003 BSE scare, and we must have support and full funding for this FMD vaccine bank to protect our vital industry. The consequences would be catastrophic.”
“An outbreak of FMD in this country would be devastating for the U.S. pork industry,” said NPPC President-elect Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio, and chairman of NPPC’s Farm Bill Policy Task Force. “The next Farm Bill must establish and fully fund a vaccine bank that gives us the ability to quickly control then eradicate this animal disease.”
- National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) brought veterinarians from around the country to Washington D.C. last week to educate members of Congress on the importance of pork industry issues. The team of 17 visited 34 representatives in two days, focusing on the 2018 Farm Bill and the establishment of a vaccine bank in the event of an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
- The National Pork Board is hosting the first Pig Welfare Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa on November 7-9, 2017 in order to raise awareness of issues in the industry and begin to identify potential solutions.
- The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) General Assembly met in Denver last week. In addition to taking part in educational opportunities the group also elected new officers for the coming year.
Carla Wardin is dedicated to telling the real story of dairy farming through her blog Truth or Dairy, and in 2014 was chosen to represent agriculture as one of the USFRA Faces of Farming and Ranching. Jamie Johansen had the pleasure of sitting down with Carla to find out why smart farming is so important to her.
Listen to this episode here and subscribe below – SMART Farmer Podcast with Carla Wardin, Michigan dairy farmer
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) announced the six finalists in the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The award recognizes the operation’s outstanding stewardship and conservation efforts. This year’s regional winners will compete for the national award, which will be announced during the Annual Cattle Industry Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., in February 2018.
– Flying Diamond Ranch in Kit Carson, Colo.
– SFI, Inc., in Nemaha, Iowa
– Munson Angus Farm, in Junction City, Kan.
– Blue Lake Farm in Sharon, S.C.
– Jim O’Haco Cattle Company in Winslow, Ariz.
– Sterling Cattle Company in Coahama, Texas
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the beef checkoff, has selected blogger and cattlewoman Anne Burkholder as the recipient of the inaugural Advocate of the Year award.
A Florida native, Burkholder moved to Nebraska with her husband in 1997 to run a family feed yard that had been in her husband’s family since the 1970s. Since then, the mother of three started a successful blog entitled “Feed Yard Foodie” and works for Progressive Beef to ensure that its supply chain is producing high-quality, sustainable beef.
While many beef advocates grow up with an agricultural background, Burkholder grew up in Palm Beach County, Florida, a self-proclaimed jock, and attended Dartmouth University where she majored in psychology. This unique perspective allows her to relate to consumers who may not be familiar with beef production.
“Managing a feed yard for 20 years inspired me to learn to identify and fill meaningful gaps. With thousands of cattle relying on me each and every day, recognizing if an important gap existed between the care that I offered and what the animal needed was absolutely critical for good welfare. This same philosophy of working to ‘fill the gap’ extends to all of the areas of my life including beef advocacy,” explains Burkholder. “A gap clearly exists between the truth of how beef is raised and the general consumer knowledge of the beef industry. As someone actively engaged in caring for cattle and raising beef, it is my job to help fill that gap with truthful information.”
Over two months since he took office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is finally getting some nominations to fill USDA positions.
“Our work has only just begun in delivering results for the people of American agriculture, and the experience and leadership skills of Stephen Censky will only enhance our efforts. He will bring enthusiasm and a dedication to this country which will be great assets to USDA’s customers. I am extremely pleased with the nomination for this key position and am hopeful that the Senate will take it up in short order.”
Censky has been CEO of the American Soybean Association since 1996 and the association strongly backs his nomination.
“Steve has guided our organization for 21 years and in that time he has proven himself as an effective, dedicated and visionary voice on behalf of soybean farmers nationwide. Nobody in agriculture is better equipped to assist Secretary Perdue in meeting the needs of farmers with practical solutions than Steve. He is a perfect fit for this role and we give him our strongest endorsement,” said Ron Moore, ASA president from Roseville, Ill.
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) also proudly supports Censky’s nomination. “President Trump’s pick of Steve Censky to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture is an outstanding step forward for agriculture and the countless related markets, like biodiesel, that play a key role in supporting our economy,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen.
The nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate, which already has a backlog of about 150 presidential nominations not yet approved.