NAHMS Survey to Measure Antibiotic Use, Stewardship

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will begin asking pig farmers who have at least 1,000 pigs and farm in any of the top 13 pork-producing states about their on-farm antimicrobial use and their related stewardship practices this spring. Those states include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.

The NAHMS Antimicrobial Use on U.S. Swine Operations 2017 study will:

Estimate the percentage of production sites using and the percentage of weaned market pigs receiving specific antimicrobials in feed and/or water by reasons for use.
Describe antimicrobial-use practices in feed and water on production sites.
Provide baseline data (historical) on antimicrobial-use practices in place before implementation of FDA policy changes (prior to 2017), which can be used for evaluating trends over time.
Describe antimicrobial stewardship practices on production sites with weaned market pigs or swine nursery and grower-finisher facilities.

“As an industry, we welcome this latest effort by USDA to get accurate information to the public about how America’s pig farmers actually use antibiotics,” said Jan Archer, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer in Goldsboro, North Carolina. “We’ve been good stewards of antibiotics over the years by working with our veterinarian partners and by following guidelines, such as those in the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus certification program. Also, this survey will provide benchmark data that can help our industry as we continue on our journey of continuous improvement.”

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact producers in the 13 states who have at least 1,000 pigs to ask for their participation in the study. Later this summer, those who agree to participate will meet with a veterinarian from the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, who will conduct the survey. Importantly, the NAHMS study will protect participants’ privacy by not revealing names or contact information associated with individual data.

Ag Group, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Research, Survey

FARM Program Releases Stockmanship Training Video

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

The National Dairy FARM Program announced the release of a stockmanship training video through its partnership with the National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program.

The 27-minute video, directed by Dr. Robert Hagevoort of New Mexico State and the U.S. Dairy Education & Training Consortium, is available on the FARM Program website and YouTube page in both English and Spanish. Topics discussed include “Point of Balance,” “Understanding the Flight Zone” and “Utilizing Tools to Effectively Move Cattle.”

“We are more than happy to develop and provide a tool for farmers and employees that will help them better understand why cows behave the way they do, and as a result become more careful and more efficient animal caretakers,” said Hagevoort.

The FARM Program, created by NMPF in 2009, believes the dairy industry has a great story to tell when it comes to producing safe, abundant and affordable milk and dairy beef. Beef Quality Assurance is a nationally coordinated, state-implemented program that informs U.S. beef producers and consumers about common sense husbandry techniques and accepted scientific knowledge that can help raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. FARM’s partnership with BQA demonstrates that U.S. milk producers are committed to providing the best in animal care, residue prevention and environmental stewardship.

Ag Group, Animal Welfare, Beef, BQA, Dairy

Tuna Feed Research Leads to Sustainable Tuna Farming

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program funded feed research by Dr. Alejandro Buentello of Ichthus Unlimited, LLC in the pursuit of finding sustainable tuna aquaculture. Various soy-based diets for use in tuna farming and ranching were tested and “Feeding Bluefin,” is a video summarizing the research project and its potential impact on protecting endangered wild tuna stocks.

“The successful research results should help provide permanence to tuna aquaculture, and can become the platform upon which commercially manufactured tuna feeds can now be developed,” said Buentello.

“Closed cycle cultivation of tuna aquaculture, from hatch to harvest, combined with sustainable formulated grow out diets offer the best opportunity we have to prevent the depletion of wild tuna stocks while supplying the global market demand for these species,” said Buentello.

Companies that contributed raw materials towards the successful completion of this project include Archer Daniels Midland, Tyson, Omega Protein, Midwest Ag Enterprises, Krill Canada, APC and Originates. ADM also contributed blending facilities and other resources.

Mark Albertson of the Illinois Soybean Association said that Illinois farmers have long been supporters of sustainable aquaculture, and this project is a classic example of farmers helping farmers.

“This feed breakthrough is a significant step towards closed cycle cultivation of tuna species, which will ease pressure on threatened wild tuna populations,” said Albertson. “We are eager to see this work continue to both uncouple tuna ranching from the dependence on wild-caught baitfish, and open the door for truly sustainable hatch-to-harvest tuna farming.”

Ag Group, Aquaculture, Feed, Fish, soybeans, sustainability

NCBA Praises Proposed Death Tax Repeal

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

The Trump Administration released their proposal for comprehensive tax reform this week, calling it the “biggest tax cut in U.S. history.” Danielle Beck, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association director of government affairs, said the Administration included in the proposal immediate repeal of the Death Tax, a priority for NCBA.

“Permanent repeal of the death tax has been a priority for cattlemen and women for decades,” said Beck. “Since the Death Tax was implemented nearly a century ago it has not only failed to meet the misguided goals set by Congress, but has threatened the existence of many multi-generational farms and ranches.”

The tax reform proposal comes on the heels of an executive order signed by President Trump yesterday on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America. The EO establishes an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Policy and contains specific policy goals aimed at supporting rural agriculture, economic development, job growth, and infrastructure improvement, including the preservation of farms and agribusinesses as they are passed from one generation to the next, including changes to the estate tax and the tax valuation of family or cooperatively held businesses.

“The Death Tax is clearly on the Administration’s radar and for that we are appreciative,” said Beck. “NCBA will assist the Administration however we can as they work to put together a comprehensive tax reform package.”

Ag Group, Government, NCBA

Trump Begins Efforts to Rein in the Antiquities Act

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

The Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have applauded the executive order signed today that calls for a review of designations made under the Antiquities Act by previous presidents.

Dave Eliason, PLC president, said while the Act was intended to preserve Native American artifacts and areas of historical importance, Presidents have instead used the Act to bypass Congress and local communities to place heavy restrictions on massive swaths of land. Most recently, President Obama boasted of using the Antiquities Act more than any previous president—locking up 256 million acres of land and water in 30 separate designations.

“Western communities have been calling on Congress for years to address the continued abuse of the Antiquities Act. Elevating millions of acres to monument status without local input or economic analysis results in unrecoverable losses to the local communities.”

The livestock industry, which supports many of the western communities, stands ready to work with the administration and assist in their review of designations and calls on Congress to pass Sen. Murkowski’s legislation without delay.

“The Executive Order is an important first step to reining in past designations that were pushed through without local input,” said NCBA President Craig Uden. “However, in order to bring the Act back to its original intent, Congress must act. Sen. Murkowski’s bill S. 33 Improved National Monument Designation Process Act would require Congressional approval of new designations, taking the power away from the Administration and placing back into the hands of those most impacted.”

Conservation, Government, Land, NCBA, PLC

POTUS Comments on Animal Ag & Trade

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

President Trump holds farmers roundtable with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (USDA photo)

President Trump welcomed new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on his first day in office for a White House “Farmers Roundtable” where animal agriculture sat center stage and the signing of an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.

During the signing, President Trump commented on the current trade dispute with Canada over dairy product pricing. “(W)here the dairy farmers up in Wisconsin, Upstate New York, different places — a lot of border states in particular — are not able to sell their dairy products into Canada. And this has been going on for a while, and we’re not going to put up with it,” said Trump. “And we’re going to take care of our dairy farmers in Wisconsin, and Upstate New York, and lots of other places.”

The president also reiterated his commitment to building a wall. “We’re already preparing. We’re doing plans. We’re doing specifications. We’re doing a lot of work on the wall, and the wall gets built. The wall is very, very important.”

Listen to Trump’s comments here: President Trump at White House farmers roundtable

Audio, Dairy, Government, Trade, usda

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • Land O’Lakes, Inc. announced that Bill Pieper has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, reporting directly to Chris Policinski, president and CEO. Pieper, a 12-year veteran of Land O’Lakes, will assume responsibility on May 1, 2017, for corporate finance, accounting, audit and treasury for the enterprise.
  • The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) announced that Drs. Jessica Prenni, Andy King and Ranjith Ramanathan will be the featured speakers at the AMSA 70th Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) Muscle Biology Symposium: “-omic” Approaches to Solve Meat Quality Issues, on Wednesday, June 21, in College Station, Texas sponsored by Iowa State University.
  • The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) announced the appointment of Matthew Spencer as director of human resources & safety programs. In his position, Spencer will be responsible for the strategic management of certain USPOULTRY technical services provided to or on behalf of Association members, including worker safety, human resources and employment law programs.
  • Allflex USA promoted Chuck Rogers to Northwest Regional Manager. In his new role, Rogers will be based in Boise, Idaho, and will oversee Sales and Marketing and technical responsibilities for Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
  • Animal Bites

    Senate Confirms Sonny Perdue

    Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

    The U.S. Senate has formally confirmed the nomination of George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III to serve as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture. The final vote was 87 to 11.

    Agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, Perdue worked on the family farm in central Georgia andn will be only the fourth agriculture secretary who can claim to have been a farmer. According to his bio from USDA, it was the family farm which shaped Sonny Perdue. “He has lived and breathed the exhilaration of a great crop and the despair and devastation of a drought. He learned by experience what his father told him as a child, “If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.””

    Perdue was the last cabinet member to be nominated before President Trump took office in January but there is still one more to be confirmed and that is Alex Acosta, who was second choice for labor secretary after Trump’s first choice withdrew. Perdue is scheduled to make his first remarks to USDA staff members at 9:00 am Eastern time Tuesday morning.

    Listen to the comments of senators supporting Perdue’s confirmation on the floor Monday.
    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – McConnell/Perdue
    Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) – Roberts/Perdue
    Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – Stabenow/Perdue
    Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) – Tester/Perdue
    Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) – Isakson/Perdue

    Representatives of the animal agriculture industry voiced support for Perdue’s confirmation, echoing their overwhelming support for Perdue’s initial nomination in January.

    Craig Uden, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), released a statement of support for Perdue late yesterday: “We are excited to have a Secretary that comes from the industry, understands the complexities of our business, and is willing to stand up and fight for the hard-working men and women in rural America.”

    Read More

    Audio, Government, usda

    Meet #SMARTfarmer Nancy Kavazanjian

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    This is episode number six of the USFRA SMART Farmer podcast and this one is with Nancy Kavazanjian, who served as the second chairperson of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

    Nancy farms with her husband Charlie Hammer in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin on land that has been in his family for 150 years. They raise corn, soybeans for tofu and wheat. She grew up on Long Island, made a career as an agricultural journalist and currently serves on the board representing the United Soybean Board.

    In this podcast, Nancy talks about the smart technology of GPS and GMOs on the farm: SMART Farmer Podcast with Nancy Kavazanjian

    Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

    Audio, GMO, Podcast, SMART Farmer, USFRA

    EPA Admin Visits Missouri to Talk WOTUS & Energy

    Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

    Pictured left to right: Missouri AG Josh Hawley; Rep. Chuck Basye; Rep. Tim Remole; Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler; U.S. Senator Roy Blunt; Missouri Sec of State Jay Ashcroft; MO Department of Ag Director Chris Chinn; Rep. Travis Fitzwater; and U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited rural Missourians, April 20, 2017, at the Thomas Hill Energy Center in Clifton Hill, Mo. The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives hosted the event, which also featured U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and all major agricultural organizations.

    “It is fitting that the farm and ranch families we represent stand alongside the rural electric cooperatives because we are their customers,” said Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) Vice President Bobby Simpson, who attended the event. “On top of that, we’ve all been in the same fight the last eight years. The EPA opted to overreach its authority by promulgating rules and regulations that stomp all over private property rights and stifle economic activity in rural Missouri.”

    Simpson said MCA members in attendance were encouraged by the Administrator’s comments. The talk of repealing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule created a sense of optimism, according to Simpson. EPA Administrator Pruitt said the agency is going to “stay in its lane.”

    “WOTUS was all about power. It was all about decision-making being concentrated in Washington, D.C. It was about land use decisions being made by Washington, D.C. as opposed to the states and those who are actually private property owners, said EPA Administrator Pruitt. “The EPA is no longer going to be an agency that engages in power over water decisions at the state level. EPA is going to stay in its lane and that process has begun.”

    U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), said, “President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have wasted no time in dismantling two of the most excessive and harmful Obama administration regulations, the Waters of the United States Rule and the Clean Power Plan. I appreciated the opportunity to welcome Administrator Pruitt to Missouri to hear firsthand about the devastating impact these rules would have on energy producers, farmers, ranchers, and, most importantly, Missouri families. The Trump administration is keeping its promise to the American people to rein in red tape and promote a true all-of-the-above energy policy, and I will continue supporting that effort.”

    Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, energy, EPA, Government, Water