Trade Tops Priority List for Beef Sector

jamie johansen

A fourth-generation rancher on the central coast of California, Kevin Kester is president-elect for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). I was able to catch up with him during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s annual event to learn about NCBA’s top priorities going into 2018.

As you can guess trade will top their list. Kester is on Secretary of Agriculture’s and Trade Ambassador’s advisory policy committee for trade. Kester said, “The message agriculture and specifically the beef sector is giving is ‘don’t do us any harm.’ For beef, Canada and Mexico are our biggest trading partners. Right now in NAFTA, U.S. cattlemen don’t have any tariffs or quota limitations. It’s hard to improve on no trade barriers.”

When it comes to TPP, Kester believes bilateral trade agreements are needed starting with Japan. “Overall trade is growing across the globe. Keeping demand up. Prices back home on the farm or ranch are staying pretty darn good,” Kester said.

Public land issues also keep NCBA busy. As a western landowner, they also sit close to home for Kester. Common sense reform in the Endangered Species Act and better communication with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S Forest Service sit center-stage.

Listen to my complete conversation with Kevin to learn more: Interview with Kevin Kester, NCBA

2017 NAFB Convention Photos

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Animal Ag Bites 11/27

carrie muehling

  • Attendees of the Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School on Nov. 30 in Green Bay will have the opportunity to learn how to successfully integrate past traditions and today’s technology to prepare for the future of their farm. Guests will also hear from Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer and host of “Packers Live,” Larry McCarren.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will host an “End of Year Policy Issues Update” as part of the group’s Cattlemen’s Webinar Series. NCBA’s Washington, D.C. staff will recap 2017 issues from trade to taxes to Federal lands. Click here to register for the December 18 webinar.
  • Cooperatives Working Together has accepted 17 requests for export assistance from members Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association that have contracts to sell 3.479 million pounds of Cheddar cheese to customers in the Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
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Understanding the Farmers of Tomorrow

jamie johansen

OsbornBarr has rounded up ag thought-leaders from across the country to discuss and tackle issues impacting the agricultural community. The first challenge they collectively believe is imperative is understanding farmers of tomorrow.

Chairman of the newly formed O+B Agricultural Advisory Council, Richard Fordyce, former Missouri Director of Agriculture, attended the 2017 National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk to talk about the research they conducted on Generation Z’s (18-22-year-olds) future in agriculture.

How do the children of today’s farmers view their role in agriculture’s future? How do their perceptions of brand and industry compare to those of their parents and grandparents? Can the answers to these questions shape the future of farming?

The results centered around four major factors shaping the future of our industry: Farm Succession Expectations Differ, View of Government Involvement, Agricultural Technologies Tops List, Preference of Peers Over Brand Names.

Richard reminded us that all those surveyed are currently somehow involved in agriculture. A glimpse of the results: 54% plan to take over their family farm, 77% are still active on their family farm and 71% of farmers believe their kids want to take over the family farm.

The council will continue to digest these results and conduct further research on areas of particular interest and make all findings available to the public. Visit to learn more.

Listen to my complete conversation with Richard to learn more :Interview with Richard Fordyce, O+B Ag Advisory Council Chair

2017 NAFB Convention Photos

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National Thanksgiving Turkey Presented to POTUS

jamie johansen

National Turkey Federation Chairman Carl Wittenburg presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey named “Drumstick” to President Donald J. Trump during a White House ceremony celebrating the 70th anniversary of the event that has occurred since 1947.

“As we gather together with our families on Thanksgiving and give thanks for our many blessings, we are reminded of the national family to which we all belong as citizens of this incredible country,” said President Trump. “This Thursday, as we give thanks for our cherished loved ones, let us also renew our bonds of trust, loyalty and affection between our fellow citizens as members of a proud national family of Americans.”

The turkeys were raised with the involvement of 4-H members from Douglas County, Minnesota: Kodi Bundermann, Kayla Egenes, Katie Kent, Christina Kuismi, and Kerryn Lund under the supervision of the Wittenburgs. The names for the birds were suggested by school children through the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

Jaindl’s Turkey Farm of Orefield, Pa. provided the President’s family with two dressed turkeys as part of the First Family’s food donations to Martha’s Table in Washington, DC.

Listen to President Trump’s turkey pardoning and Thanksgiving remarks: President Trump pardons Thanksgiving turkeys

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Livestock Haulers Get Waiver From ELDs Regulation

Jamie Johansen

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted drivers who haul livestock a 90-day waiver from a regulation that could have negative effects on animal well-being. Livestock groups say this is good news.

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) requested on behalf of the U.S. pork industry and other livestock sectors a waiver from a requirement that certain drivers install Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on their trucks. And asked for an exemption from the regulation, citing the incompatibility between transporting livestock and DOT’s Hours of Service rules. Those regulations limit truckers to 11 hours of driving daily, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, and restrict their on-duty time to 14 consecutive hours, which includes nondriving time.

“The ELDs regulation poses some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “This waiver will give the department time to consider our request that truckers transporting hogs, cattle and other livestock be exempt from the ELDs mandate.”

More from NPPC here.

Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), said “This is very good news for cattle and beef producers, and it’s a sign that the Administration is listening to the concerns that we have been raising. We’ve maintained for a long time that FMSCA is not prepared for this ELD rollout, that there needs to be more outreach from the Department of Transportation to the agricultural community, and that there’s currently still major confusion on the agricultural exemption on Hours of Service known as the 150 air-mile rule.

“This rule would certainly be helpful to our cattle haulers across the country. We want to thank Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao for listening to our concerns, and we’ll continue to work with her and FMCSA to make sure that our cattle are delivered safely, and that our drivers and others on the road are safe as well.”

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Enogen® Corn Hybrids Good for Feed and Fuel

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Enogen® corn hybrids from Syngenta have been providing value for farmers and ethanol producers, now Enogen® Feed hybrids can help provide value for beef and dairy producers as well.

“Enogen continues to be an exciting part of our business in Syngenta and the NK brand,” said Quinn Showalter, NK Sales Head, during an interview at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) annual Trade Talk. Enogen corn will produce about 2 billion gallons of ethanol this year. “New as we move forward into 2018 is the value that Enogen brings from a feed standpoint.”

Showalter says on-farm trials this year showed very promising results and as grain or silage, can provide a valuable ration component that helps provide more available energy for cattle in the form of starch and sugar, which also helps improve digestibility. “There is incremental value in the form of feed efficiency that come from Enogen,” he said.

In this interview, Quinn also discusses Syngenta’s long-term commitment to the NK brand and what is new for 2018. Interview with Quinn Showalter, Syngenta/NK Seeds

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Biodiesel Benefits Farmers and Livestock Producers

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Midwest soybeans are fueling the country from coast to coast. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has a goal of supplying 10 percent of the nation’s diesel fuel by the year 2022, equating to about four billion gallons per year. NBB Board Member and Nebraska Farmer Greg Anderson said the northeast market for heating oil is a bright spot, while California will soon be the number one market for biodiesel. He said that’s important during a challenging agriculture economy.

“We do have the production capacity to serve this market. We have America’s advanced biofuel providing some 64,000 jobs across the country – good paying, clean energy jobs – as well as really making agriculture profitable,” said Anderson. “We need biodiesel to keep adding almost a dollar per bushel value to our crop, making soybean oil 11 to 20 cents per pound more valuable, just because of biodiesel.”

U.S. farmers grow over four billion bushels of soybeans each year, producing 22 billion pounds of soybean oil. Biodiesel production uses about one third of the domestic soybean crush.

Here more with Cindy’s interview from NAFB Trade Talk: Interview with Greg Anderson, National Biodiesel Board

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SMART Dairy Farmers

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This episode of the SMART farmer podcast comes from the 2017 World Dairy Expo where Jamie Johansen sat down with Chris Galen of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to have him explain some of the many ways dairy producers are SMART farmers when it comes to efficiency and sustainability.

NMPF was one of the founding members of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance with the goal of helping to educate the non-farming public about issues such as animal welfare and food labeling. Galen talks about the successful National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program created in 2009 that has helped the dairy industry make continuous sustainability progress.

Listen to the podcast here or click to subscribeSMART Farmer Podcast with Chris Galen, National Milk Producers Federation

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast here

Learn more about USFRA and SMART Farm

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Top Priorities for Cattle Producers

jamie johansen

Each year the NAFB Trade Talk allows us to get updates from each segment of the agricultural community. As a beef producer, I am always eager to step into the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) booth to hear the latest on policy issues impacting my family. Colin Woodall, senior vice president government affairs, is no stranger to the Golden Mic and this time we talked about top priorities for cattlemen in the 2018 farm bill.

“Our top priority is to establish a vaccine bank to help protect us from foot and mouth disease. The current vaccine bank is obsolete and not prepared in the event of the reintroduction of foot and mouth disease in this country. It is going to take about $150 million a year to make this happen. The only way we can get this done is in a farm bill,” Woodall said.

Repeal of the Death Tax is another key issue NCBA is pushing. Woodall said they are optimistic that a full tax package will be wrapped up by Christmas. Good news for us all!

Listen to my complete interview with Colin as he takes us further into the above issues and also comments on the slow approval of USDA leadership and the recent World Health Organization guidelines on antibiotics. Interview with Colin Woodall, NCBA

2017 NAFB Convention Photos

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