New Beef Leadership Elected in New Orleans

cindy zimmerman

Jennifer Houston of Tennessee was named president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans last week, as Marty Smith of Florida became NCBA president-elect. Jerry Bohn (Kansas) was elected NCBA vice president. Don Schiefelbein (Minnesota) was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division and Todd Wilkinson (South Dakota) was elected vice chair. Laurie Munns (Utah) was elected chair of the NCBA Federation Division and Buck Wehrbein (Nebraska) was elected vice chair.

Houston and her husband, Mark, own and operate East Tennessee Auction Market in Sweetwater. She has been active in the beef industry for more than 30 years, first serving at the state level and has been an NCBA board member since 1996.

Smith is a rancher and an attorney from Wacahoota, Florida where he operates Smith Brothers-Wacahoota, LLC, a cow/calf operation that has been in continuous operation since 1852. He is also the son of Jo Ann Smith, the first woman president of NCBA in 1985 and first chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board in 1986.

Elected to serve on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee from the Federation, joining Munns, Wehrbein and ten members elected from the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, were: Katie Brenny (Minnesota), Gary Deering (South Dakota), Bradley Hastings (Texas), Chris Jeffcoat (Pennsylvania), Clark Price (North Dakota), Jeff Rudolph (Nebraska), Don Terry (Tennessee) and VeaBea Thomas (South Dakota).

Listen to interviews with Houston and Smith here:
New NCBA president Jennifer Houston

NCBA president-elect Marty Smith

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NCBA Announces Policy Priorities at #CattleCon19

cindy zimmerman

As over 9,000 members of the cattle industry gathered for the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show last week in New Orleans, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) released its official Policy Priorities for 2019.

While the Policy Priorities book fills almost 140 pages, the organization will focus on four main issue areas this year – fake meat, trade and market access, dietary guidelines, and regulatory reform and implementation.

NCBA was successful in 2018 in arguing for the USDA to have primary jurisdiction over the inspection and marketing of lab-produced and plant-based fake meat. Now in 2019 the group will work to ensure that a regulatory framework that protects the health of consumers, prevents false and deceptive marketing, and ensures a level playing field for real beef products.

Trade priorities will focus on a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, securing swift passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and expanding access for U.S. beef in key markets like China, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

NCBA will be working to protect the scientific credibility of Dietary Guidelines and promote accurate information about the nutritional advantages of beef as part of a balanced diet as the federal government begins the process of updating the guidelines.

Regulatory priorities includes implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill; finalizing a new water rule to replace the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule; modernizing and streamlining the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and federal grazing regulations; and promoting antimicrobial stewardship by producers and preserving access to key veterinary technologies.

NCBA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Colin Woodall talks about the policy priorities in this interview –
Colin Woodall, NCBA

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Secretary Sonny Urges Cattle Producers to be Transparent

cindy zimmerman

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue had the opportunity to address about 9,000 cattlemen and women during the closing general session of the Cattle Industry Convention on Friday and challenge them to be transparent and let consumers know what they do to produce beef.

“We don’t have anything to be ashamed about in the U.S. beef industry,” said Perdue. “No longer can we stand behind the cattle guards of our farms and ranchers and say ‘we just grow it, y’all take care of it from here.’”

Listen to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s address to the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention –
#CattleCon19 Secretary Perdue comments

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Animal Ag Bites 2/4

carrie muehling

  • Kent Nutrition Group is offering a new line of supplements for pigs — NutriVantage® Nutrition Optimizer® — a research-driven, unique blend of natural ingredients, vitamins and minerals that impact performance at every stage.
  • In comments submitted to the FDA this week, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative called on the agency to “take immediate action” to enforce existing regulations that define dairy foods as originating from cow’s milk.
  • Benny Cox of San Angelo, Texas, was elected president of the American Sheep Industry Association, to succeed Mike Corn of New Mexico.
  • In light of the recent outbreaks of African swine fever and other animal diseases, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has been working on a multi-pronged action plan to: research science-based solutions for mitigating the risks of virus transmission through feed, and communicate any new information and recommendations to the industry and producer groups. As part of this effort, AFIA announced that it has released an updated version of its biosecurity guidelines.
  • The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research launched the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture, a public-private partnership to advance research on antimicrobial stewardship in animal agriculture and improve animal health and welfare.
  • Dairy Management Inc. used Super Bowl weekend to advance its Undeniably Dairy campaign. The organization created two very entertaining 30-second spots to appear on Facebook Feb. 1-4 via a paid promotion. The videos are designed to extend Undeniably Dairy, which was created to grow trust in and relevancy of dairy. Watch Video 1 and Video 2 here.
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Secretary Sonny Perdue visits #CattleCon19

chuck zimmerman

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, visited with the media during the Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show prior to his remarks at the closing general session.

The first topic of the press conference was on trade and it was obvious he really wanted to talk about it. He said the top priority for ag groups is trade, trade, trade. You can hear his summary of where things stand with trade negotiations and the impact on agriculture in his remarks below.

He ended the conference answering a question about forest fires and management. It is encouraging to hear him talk about allowing proper management of our forests to ensure we don’t have the devastating fires we’ve seen recently.

Listen to or download the press conference below.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue press conference audio –
Secretary Perdue Press Conference

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Barn Sentry Launches at Develop with Deere

carrie muehling

John Deere dealers attending the Develop with Deere Conference in Chicago were among the first to see a new barn monitoring system with the launch of Barn Sentry from New Boundary Technologies and Mel Foster Company.

The product is designed especially for farmers with hog, turkey and chicken operations and it has the ability to send data from New Boundary’s RemoteAware service into the John Deere Operation Center. Farmers can then see alerts and data with the Operation Center or in a mobile app.

“We believe the John Deere dealer network is the ideal network to work through, because of their close relationships with their customers, and the fact that we are already sending the data into Operations Center, we feel that they will find more value in that than maybe some other dealers will,” said Martin Miller, Application/System Engineer with Mel Foster Company.

Barn Sentry includes a monthly monitoring service that provides the cellular service and the RemoteAware application service. The system is easy to install in new or existing barns. Barn Sentry is available through Mel Foster Company and its authorized dealers. For information, contact Martin Miller,

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Martin here: Interview with Martin Miller, Mel Foster Company

2019 Develop with Deere Conference Photo Album

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CattleFax Previews 2019 Market

cindy zimmerman

CattleFax market specialists presenting at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention say they expect markets to continue strong but see a leverage shift on the horizon. The popular annual CattleFax Outlook Seminar drew a capacity crowd Thursday as cattlemen and women gathered to hear expert market and weather analysis.

CattleFax analyst Kevin Good said he expects prices will remain strong, with demand and the economy expected to remain solid. He said price risk remains over the next few years in response to the last five years of expansion. The beef cowherd expansion cycle is believed to be within 1-2 years of being complete.

However, domestic demand remains robust and higher wages and job growth are supportive of prices. CattleFax projects the all-fresh retail beef price to average $5.73/lb., up $.06 from year ago levels, while the composite cutout will rise $4 to average $216/hundredweight (cwt.) during 2019.

Fed cattle prices are expected to be steady during 2019, averaging $117/cwt., with market resistance at the $130-level and downside risk to $100/cwt. at the low end of the trading range, according to Good. He said a larger supply of cattle outside of feedyards coupled with limited profitability in the feeding sector will hinder demand and pressure feeder cattle prices. CattleFax projects 750 lb. steer prices will range from $130-$160/cwt., with an average at $147/cwt. for the year ahead.

“The relatively strong calf market we saw in 2018 will be under pressure this year,” said Good. “However, values in the spring should have the potential to reach the mid-$180s. On the other hand, a larger calf crop and softer demand have the potential to erode prices to the $140-level next fall, so there is certainly more price risk in feeder cattle and calves than in the fed cattle markets in 2019.”

Feed and grain prices are expected to remain stable during the year ahead, with corn acreage increasing an expected 2 million acres to total 91 million acres and soybeans declining 2.2 million acres to 87 million and wheat gaining 1 million acres to total 49 million.

Interview with Kevin Good, VP of Industry Relations, CattleFax –
Kevin Good, CattleFax

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Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show Underway

cindy zimmerman

The Big Easy is the place to be this week for nearly 8,000 cattle industry professionals who were ready to GEAUX for the official start of the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show Wednesday.

“Every year the Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show hosts members from every segment of the beef industry,” said NCBA President Kevin Kester of California. “Not only is the event a great opportunity for attendees to network and learn about the newest technology and science to improve their operations, but it’s also when we set our policy priorities for the next year.”

Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw delivered the keynote address at the Opening General Session, which was followed immediately by the opening of a 6.5-acre trade show. Highlights this week include the D.C. public policy issues update, NCBA policy committee meetings, the “Mardi Gras Masquerade” hosted at Mardi Gras World, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the closing general session on Friday, and the Cowboy Concert Series featuring music stars Big and Rich.

The Convention will wrap up Saturday morning with a meeting of the NCBA’s Board of Directors, where official public policy positions will be set for the coming year. In this interview, Kester talks about some of the big issues for the organization this year. Interview with Kevin Kester, President, NCBA

2019 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show Photo Album

Find photos and audio from the event in the official Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show virtual newsroom

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Alltech Releases 2019 Global Feed Survey

cindy zimmerman

The 2019 Alltech Global Feed Survey estimates world feed production increased by three percent in the past year to 1.103 billion metric tons, with the top eight countries producing 55 percent of the world’s feed production. ​

The top eight countries are China, the U.S., Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, Spain and Turkey. Together, they produce 55 percent of the world’s feed production and contain 59 percent of the world’s feed mills, and they can be viewed as an indicator of the trends in agriculture. Predominant growth came from the layer, broiler and dairy feed sectors.

“Alltech works together with feed mills, industry and government entities around the world to compile data and insights to provide an assessment of feed production each year,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “We are proud to present the eighth annual Alltech Global Feed Survey and share the results publicly to demonstrate the importance of the animal feed industry as we strive to provide for a planet of plenty.”

This eighth edition of the annual survey includes data from 144 countries and nearly 30,000 feed mills. To access more data and insights from the 2019 Alltech Global Feed Survey, including the results booklet, an interactive global map and a video presentation of the results by Dr. Mark Lyons, visit

Download the audio of Dr. Lyons presentation here:
Alltech CEO Dr. Mark Lyons presents 2019 Global Feed Survey

Alltech is at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show this week in New Orleans and we will be catching up with them to find out what’s new.

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Cattle Industry Jazzed to Meet in New Orleans

cindy zimmerman

#CattleCon19 is ready to Laissez Le Bons Temps Roulez (Let the Good Times Roll) in New Orleans this week at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show!

The 2019 event will be one of the largest on record with over 9,000 cattlemen and women expected in the Crescent City for 3.5 days of education, fellowship, networking, business and plenty of fun. The convention is the largest gathering of cattle industry professionals in the country, and the NCBA Trade Show will feature more than 350 exhibitors on 7+ acres. The annual meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen, CattleFax and National Cattlemen’s Foundation will also be held at this event.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will speak at the Closing General Session on Friday at the New Orleans Convention Center. He will address the farm bill, trade and other issues affecting the state of American agriculture.

NCBA President and California cattleman Kevin Kester says the industry is honored to host Secretary Perdue at the Convention. “There are many issues facing those who make their livings in the cattle industry, so It’s great that Secretary Perdue will share his thoughts and his agency’s plans with us at the Convention,” Kester said. “We have more than 7,000 people already pre-registered for the event, and we should have a record turnout. Those in attendance at the Closing Session will benefit from hearing what we an industry can expect from government in the coming months and years.”

Keep up with all the action on the official 2019 Cattle Industry Convention virtual newsroom where all photos, audio and video content will be posted.

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