- On January 17 and 18, 2018 dairy farmers will attend the Dairy Strong conference and trade show in Madison, Wisconsin. Those who register before November 1, 2017 can attend for free.
- The National Pork Board is celebrating a new song titled Porkchop by recording artist Cowboy Troy, American country rapper, Hick Hop innovator and songwriter currently traveling with Big & Rich. Download the song here.
- Gostwyck Partners‘ sheep farm in Gostwyck, NSW Australia has been certified by SCS Global Services under the Responsible Wool Standard.
- The 201 World Dairy Expo has come to an end with a record 884 participating companies. A Show Summary is now available with complete details about the event.
- RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group has released a new report, “Steady Growth Ahead for the U.S. Pork Industry- Outlook Hinges on Increased Exports.” Contact Sarah.Kolell@RaboAg.com for more information.
- Novus International, Inc. has raised of $20,000 to help those affected by the recent hurricane in Texas. As a global animal nutrition and health solutions provider with more than 700 employees in 35 countries worldwide, part of this workforce includes manufacturing and business offices in Texas.
- The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has given their 2017 Distinguished Service Award to Anne Dawson, senior trade advisor for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. The award honors those whose leadership contributes towards achievement of USMEF’s export goals.
Dairy producers at the 2017 World Dairy Expo had two primary questions for Alltech Farm Specialist Pat Crowley regarding silage. Those questions centered around variability of the crop this year because of unique weather patterns in the Midwest, and what to expect from the silage because of those factors.
Crowley says farmers are typically producing silage each fall they will use for the next 12 to 18 months. Analysis of fresh samples straight out of the field can help them to know what to expect from each year’s crop. But Crowley says producing good silage begins with planting.
“If you want quality in the end, we’ve got to start with quality in the beginning. We’ve got to look at correct seed selection, correct tillage practices, what type of fertilizers,” said Crowley.
Other factors later in the season like chopping height can also be a factor. Crowley likes to sit down with both producers and custom harvesters to ensure everyone is on the same page before heading into a new season.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Pat Crowley here: Interview with Pat Crowley, Alltech
Hubbard Feeds is a heritage brand with a strong history. Today Hubbard is a part of the Alltech family, and that transition has gone very well, says Ken Peterson, general manager for the central part of the United States covering an area from Minnesota to Missouri.
“Our focus in the past has always been on animals that produce meat, milk and eggs. I think that will continue to be our main focus,” said Peterson. “But I think what will set us apart from others in the industry is the technologies that Alltech has and they’ve always been a leader in that area, and I think that’s been one of the things that has made them so strong.”
Peterson says new technologies will continue to lead Hubbard into the future, especially with a transition away from antibiotics in the animal feed industry.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Ken Peterson here: Interview with Ken Peterson, Hubbard
Alltech Crop Science is bringing biological and natural products into crops to make them better. Technical Advisor Brian Springer says the company has a broad portfolio that really sets it apart from similar companies that only offer one or two products.
When working with dairy customers like those at the 2017 World Dairy Expo, Springer often answers questions about how to help improve silage.
“And it’s not only about tonnage. A lot of times it’s about quality. If you can get more milk per ton of the same silage, that’s important. So we really do focus on that,” Springer said. “We have a lot of research done in Wisconsin specifically on those topics. We look at plant health. We look at the nutrition going into the plant and the nutrition coming back out.”
Springer says Alltech has people collaborating from both the animal side and the plant health side to help identify problems and find solutions on the farm.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Brian Springer here: Interview with Brian Springer, Alltech Crop Science
National Hay Association President Amy Freeburg has been a commercial hay grower supplying the dairy industry for 45 years. Alfalfa hay is a key feed used in the dairy industry, but Freeburg says wheat straw is also used in dairy rations because it floats in the rumen of the cow. Members of the association also grow grasses for dairy goats, horses and to sell to zoos.
Freeburg says technology has become prevalent in the forage industry just as it has in other parts of agriculture. Her booth at the 2017 World Dairy Expo included a brand new probe to take temperature and moisture readings of individual hay bales.
“The end user on the other end can see how hot the hay got, or how much moisture was in it before it started to cool back down. It’s quite a new technology. The back side of it is, though, that your hay barns have to have wifi because these little probes all have to have some kind of an internet connection,” she said.
Freeburg said the forage market has also become a global market, with China, Japan and India representing important export opportunities.
Listen to more of Jamie’s interview with Amy Freeburg here: Interview with Amy Freeburg, National Hay Association
Caleb Harper describes himself as an anti-disciplinary person who did not succeed in the traditional school setting. But his ideas and his curious mind eventually landed him at MIT, where he now is Principal Investigator and Director of the Open Agriculture (Open Ag) Initiative at the MIT Media Lab.
Harper addressed 100 youth in attendance at the 2017 Youth Ag Summit with a message about the fourth ag revolution and eating digitally. He talked about climate democracy, sharing that today’s world contains the access to data and computing power that could allow the creation of climates for agriculture in places where those don’t already exist. Harper says the face of the next generation farmer is also important.
“People totally undervalue and just don’t understand how incredibly complex the world of agriculture is. So, incentivizing that young person to even think there is the potential for a career out there is part of what I love doing,” Harper said.
Harper encouraged young people to stop talking and start creating.
Hear more of Jamie’s interview with Caleb Harper here: Interview with Caleb Harper, MIT Media Lab
View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Youth Ag Summit Photo Album
Cow comfort is priority for Tom Lorenzen, dairy specialist with Alltech. Lorenzen visits dairy farms with the goal of looking for problem areas and finding solutions when it comes to the basic needs of the animals.
“Cows don’t lie,” says Lorenzen. “I look and listen to the cows.”
Lorenzen says clean water and a full feed bunk after milking are important to keeping cows happy and healthy. He took the opportunity during the 2017 World Dairy Expo to share some priorities when it comes to cow comfort, including correct free stalls, proper ventilation and adequate parlor space.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Tom Lorenzen here: Interview with Tom Lorenzen, Alltech
This year’s World Dairy Expo was the first for Chad Vincent in his role as CEO of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). Vincent says the organization continues to invest checkoff dollars to drive trust, sales distribution and awareness of Wisconsin cheese and other dairy products.
He says exports and emerging markets are a priority, with a focus on Asia and North Africa. But the message to American consumers is just as important at a time when it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction.
“We want to tell the honest truth about farming and farmers and dairy. When people see it coming from the farmers and they hear the truth, it helps us deflect a lot of the misinformation that’s coming at them today and coming at them in the future.”
WMMB also shares that message with students in schools across the country through the Fuel Up To Play 60 program, in partnership with the NFL.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Chad Vincent here: Interview with Chad Vincent, WMMB
Visitors to the Keenan Alltech booth at the 2017 World Dairy Expo told National Sales Manager Dan Gard that they appreciate the uniformity of the mix they get when using any of Keenan’s five mixers on their farms. Gard says consistency drives performance on the farm, whether it is a small farm or one of the larger dairies in the country.
Keenan InTouch Nutritionist Eva Griffin says technology plays a big role in today’s mixing systems.
“The farmer knows exactly what to feed the cows, how much to feed and how long to mix it for. The beauty is that a lot of that is in the Cloud, as well, so behind your machine on farm is a whole nutrition support service,” says Griffin.
Griffin says the paddle mixer is a unique design that provides a gentle mixing process, protecting the structure fiber of the mix and working with nature and not against it.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Dan Gard and Eva Griffin here: Interview with Dan Gard & Eva Griffin, Keenan Alltech
- The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has released a new video discussing antiparasitic resistance in cattle, sheep, goats, and horses.
- Alltech has donated $90,000 of its slow-release urea, Optigen, to dairy farms impacted by Hurricane Irma. Optigen provides a high-quality source of protein to give herds energy during times of environmental or production stress.
- The American Angus Association has hired three new team members. JD Rosman and Ali Luety join as communications specialists and Max Steward has accepted a position as video production specialist.
- The 2017 Advances in Animal Ag report from Animal Agriculture Alliance has just been released. The report showcases the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement in animal care, responsible antibiotic use, environmental sustainability, and food safety.