Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced pork processor Moon Ridge Foods cut the ribbon on its flagship processing facility in Pleasant Hope, Mo. The project will create 160 new jobs and represents an investment of $54 million over the next two years.
  • The National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) announces Cassandra Garcia, Renton Wash., as the 2016-2017 Angus Ambassador, serving a one-year term as a spokesperson for the organization’s nearly 6,000 junior members at cattle industry events across the United States and Canada.
  • The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the Pilgrim’s Pride plant in Live Oak, Fla., for 14 serious and eight other safety and health violations. OSHA proposes to fine the company $78,175.
Animal Bites

ISU Series Prepares Industry for Vet Feed Directive

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

isuIowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Farm Bureau, and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association will offer an educational series about the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD).

“The program will include a general overview of the VFD, species break-outs, and discussion panels featuring veterinarians, producers, and feed industry personnel,” Clark said. “The implementation date of January 1, 2017, is approaching and at this point people may have some specific questions or scenarios that they are unsure about. Hopefully we can help answer some questions and clarify some of those issues.”

Iowa veterinarians, livestock producers and feed industry personnel are invited to attend any of the 11 session locations. Each program features breakout and discussion sessions, with a primary objective of helping attendees learn about the roles and responsibilities of all involved parties.

“Implementation of the VFD will require cooperation and communication between veterinarians, producers, and feed industry personnel,” Clark said. “It’s important that each party knows not only their own responsibilities but also what to expect from the other two parties. It may be really valuable to hear what others are thinking and planning in regard to implementation of the VFD.”

The series runs from Aug. 22 through Sept. 1 with specific times set for each location. There is no fee to attend, but preregistration is encouraged to assist organizers with planning. Please register by calling the number associated with the session you would like to attend.

For more general information, contact Clark at 712-250-0070 or email at You also can contact your regional Iowa State Extension livestock specialist.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Education, Livestock, Vaccine, Veterinary

Gelbvieh Juniors Elect Board of Directors

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 9.47.29 AMMembers of the American Gelbvieh Junior Association elected four candidates to serve two-year terms on the AGJA Board of Directors. The election took place during the AGJA annual meeting at the 2016 AGJA Dirt Road Classic in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The AGJA Board of Directors consists of nine AGJA members and one ex-officio member. Directors serve two-year terms and must be 16 years of age as of January 1 and may not have reached his or her 20th birthday as of January 1.

Newly elected board members are Caitlin Griffin, Westminster, South Carolina, granddaughter of Ricky and Judy Griffin; Jesse Henson, Canton, North Carolina, son of Donnie and Kelly Henson; Morgan Winchester, Jasper, Missouri, daughter of Amie Primm, Heath and Stephanie Winchester. Re-elected to serve a second term was Kyle Vehige, Bonnots Mill, Missouri, son of Tom and Stacy Vehige. Carter Mitchell, Appleton City, Missouri, son of Kevin and Debbie Mitchell is also on the board.

The Board of Directors also elected individuals to serve in leadership positions on the 2016 AGJA Executive Committee. Sydney Bigger, Media, Illinois, daughter of Barry and Jody Bigger, was re-elected for a second term as AGJA president.

Elected as vice president was Tiana Garcia, Las Animas, Colorado, daughter of Keith and Teresa Garcia. Kyle Vehige, was re-elected as the vice president of leadership development. Aubree Beenken, Buckingham, Iowa, daughter of Marc and Angie Beenken, was elected to serve as secretary and Colton Spencer of Aurora, Missouri, son of Jim and Janella Spencer was elected as treasurer. Tanner Aherin, Phillipsburg, Kansas, son of Dennis and Joyce Aherin, will serve as Ex-Officio.

Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, Gelbvieh, Youth

#Biodiesel – It’s Not Just for Fuel

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Biodiesel, it’s just not for fuel. This is one of the messages that National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB) Kaleb Little shared with media during the #2016 AgMedia Summit in St. Louis this week. Jamie Johansen spoke with him about some of the benefits the biodiesel industry brings to livestock producers.

The livestock industry has always been important to biodiesel. As the biodiesel industry grows, it’s becoming more and more important to the livestock groups,” explained Little. “About 25 percent of the animal fats produced last year actually went in to biodiesel production. So a little over 2 billion gallons of fuel was produced in the U.S. market, so 25 percent of that came from animal fats. So that has a big connection.

Last year about half of the biodiesel gallons came from soybean oil ams16-117-editedand in terms of the co-product, soybean meal for animal feed, the industry’s number one customer is the livestock industry – a message that NBB shares with the industry.

Since Ag Media Summit is about sharing stories, Jamie asked Little how they communicate biodiesel’s message to the industry. He answered that they do a fair amount of direct communication to livestock groups. They also work through state soybean boards and the United Soybean Board (USB) to help communicate that message. NBB has put together data specific to the livestock industry and one interesting factoid is that a soybean is about 80 percent oil, 20 percent meal and with the added value of the oil component, it allows soybean meal to be even more economic for the livestock producer.

So not only are we adding value to the animal fats, we’re making the feed cheaper too,” added Little.

Listen to Jamie’s interview with Kaleb Little to learn more about the benefits the biodiesel industry is providing to the livestock industry: Interview with Kaleb Little, NBB

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 AMS Photo Album

Ag Media Summit, Agribusiness, Audio, biodiesel, Feed, Livestock

ZimmPoll Finds Trump-Pence Views on Ag, Biofuels Hazy

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket good for agriculture, energy?”

During his campaigning Trump has been supporter of biofuels and has repeatedly said he could “be a farmer.” Indiana Governor Mike Pence has vocally supported the ag industry understanding and supporting small farms and large agribusinesses. However, this week’s pollers seem to think differently with a majority believing the pair will be bad news for both agriculture and biofuels.

Here are the poll results:

  • Good for ag & biofuels – 30%
  • Good for ag but not for biofuels – 5%
  • Good for biofuels but not for ag – 0%
  • Not good for ag & biofuels – 55%
  • Could go either way – 10%
  • Other – 0%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, Is the Clinton-Kaine Democratic ticket good for agriculture and/or energy?

During her campaigning, Clinton said she is for biotech, the Farm Bill, animal welfare, climate and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). What about Senator Kaine? He is from a state, Virginia, where ag is the largest industry but he seems wishy-washy on the Farm Bill, but in 2013 he was a vocal supporter of the legislation. He has come out in support of renewable energy and in 2015 he visited his state’s only ethanol plant, Hopewell, to learn about ethanol production as the future of the RFS was then, and is today, hotly contested. What do you think? Vote now.


Meet the New Leadership of LPC

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 11.11.52 AMLivestock Publications Council (LPC) members gathered for the 2016 Ag Media Summit and one item of business was electing new leadership. Congratulations to new LCP president, Scarlett Hagins, and her new team.

2016-2017 LPC Officers:
President – Scarlett Hagins, Kansas Stockman
1st Vice President – Cindy Cunningham, National Pork Board
2nd Vice President – Carey Brown, Cow Country
Secretary-Treasurer – Jennifer Carrico, High Plains Journal
Immediate Past President – Angie Denton, Kansas State University

LPC Board of Directors
Ben Richey, United State Animal Health Association
Greg Henderson, Beef Today/Cattle
Jennifer Shike, University of Illinois
Katie Maupin, Seedstock EDGE
Kent Jaecke, Focus Marketing Group
Leanne Peters, Cattle Business in Mississippi
Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef, LLC
Molly Schoen, Charolais Journal
Steve Taylor, Appaloosa Journal
Jennifer Scharpe, Limousin World
Eric Tietze, Ozarks Farm & Neighbor

ams16-104Scarlett has worn many hats throughout her leadership in LPC. She let me pick her brain while at AMS to learn a bit more about the role LPC plays in agriculture communications throughout the country and how she plans to help implement the Council’s three-year strategic plan.

“My year will be spent putting legs under our strategic plan to start accomplishing some of the other goals, like implementing new programs to benefit our members and ways to make their jobs easier with educational programs.”

One of those programs is called Coffee & Collaboration. It is an online type of webinar through Skype for business where members can reach out to each other and never leave their office. We all have busy schedules and this is just one example of how LPC is meeting the needs of its members right where they are.

“We also provide regional workshops throughout the year. Our website is also a great resource where you can find award applications and the code of ethics to use along with your publication if you get questions from customers. We want to be any kind of resource that helps our members do their job better.”

Listen to my complete interview with Scarlett here: Scarlett Hagins, LPC President

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 AMS Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Ag Media Summit, Communications, Livestock, LPC, Media

Producers Reflect on USMEF Latin American Showcase

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

USMEF logo In this week’s audio report from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), four U.S. livestock and crop producers offer their observations after attending the sixth annual USMEF Latin American Product Showcase in Panama City, Panama.

About 120 buyers from 14 countries participated in the showcase, a premier event for U.S. companies that export beef, pork and lamb to Central and South America and the Caribbean, and 42 USMEF member companies had exhibits at the event.

The American producers in attendance at the showcase were Rod Gray, a rancher from Harrison, Nebraska, David Lowe, a soybean, corn and livestock producer from Dunkirk, Indiana, Doug Wolf, a pork producer from Lancaster, Wisconsin, and Randy Spronk, a pork, soybean and corn producer from Edgerton, Minnesota.

More details from the Latin American Product Showcase are available here

USMEF Report on Latin American Showcase
Ag Group, Agribusiness, Audio, Events, Export, Export, International, Trade, USMEF

Senators Address Organic Livestock, Poultry Concerns

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Senate ag committeeU.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, led a bipartisan group of 13 Senators in sending a second letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), requesting additional information regarding expressed concerns with the Agency’s proposed rule on revised organic livestock and poultry production standards.

“The proposed rule raises significant concerns regarding the impact on current organic poultry and egg producers as well as access and price for organic consumers,” the Senators said. “Further, proposed changes to outdoor access standards could have a detrimental impact to both animal health and food safety.”

Other Senators include Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Bob Casey, D-Penn.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Gary Peters, D-Mich.; David Perdue, R-Ga.; and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

On May 26, leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees sent a letter requesting an extended public comment period. USDA granted an additional 30 days on June 7.

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing in May on the U.S. livestock and poultry sectors, which included testimony from a variety of producers.

Ag Group, Government, Livestock, Organic, Policy, politics, Poultry

VetX On-Demand Veterinarian Revolutionizes Pet-Care Industry

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 6.34.32 PMPet owners across the U.S. will soon have on-demand access to 24/7 veterinary care through a new web and app-based platform called VetX. VetX is pioneering a new frontier by allowing users to contact a local veterinarian at any hour for an unlimited video consultation of $14.99.

Users new to the service or unsure if they need an actual consultation can also post general questions on the platform’s social feed, which are also answered by the team’s veterinarians. VetX also caters to pet owners who travel often or leave their pets in the custody of others by allowing users to store their pet’s medical records on the cloud.

Founders of VetX Tan Kabra and John Dillon came up with the idea when Tan’s cat began licking its stitches a few nights after surgery. “I tried to take her to a clinic, but it was closed so we had to take her to an animal hospital,” Tan said. “It took 90 seconds and costed $250 for the vet to tell us she was fine.”

“We are both pet owners and it made immediate sense,” said John. “There are millions of pets in the United States. Everyone we know that has a pet loves them dearly and there is an increasing trend where people see them as actual members of their families. Physical vet visits can often be massively inconvenient – that’s where we step in.”

“A tricky part for us was to define what medical advice can and cannot be given remotely through a digital platform”, said Tan. “Our success has been in our ability to craft win-win relationships with our brick-and-mortar partners and help offer them a valuable source of referral business”.

When asked about their growth plans, John said: “The feedback from people has been tremendous and we’re already in talks with some of the largest institutional players in the country about partnering up. The amount of information that we can glean from users’ questions, in combination with their pets’ health records is tremendous. We’re also looking at ways to improve our pets’ lives more holistically – like adding interactive social features for the pet owners, tracking pets’ daily wellness and providing special member discounts for food and gear. We’re really excited about the possibilities.”

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Veterinary

AAEA Researches TPP’s Impact on Dairy

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

imageThe Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may be the most historic free trade agreement of its time. While the document was signed earlier this year, it has yet to be ratified in many of the 12 participating countries, including the United States, where it has become a significant issue in the race for President.

Many concerns from TPP opposition relate to a potential increase in competition from other countries, with specific concerns stemming from the U.S. dairy sector.

AAEA members Everett Peterson and Jason Grant of Virginia Tech University recently conducted research on this issue, titled “Impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for U.S. and International Dairy Trade.”

The study’s full results will be released at the 2016 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting in Boston, July 31 – August 2.

“It benefits U.S. dairy producers,” Peterson said. “There will be opportunities to increase exports and production of dairy products will be going up. And that is good for domestic producers.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Dairy, economics, Export, Export, Trade