House Ag Committee Advances Agriculture and Nutrition Act

cindy zimmerman

The House Agriculture Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to pass the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R.2) out of committee, a new farm bill designed by Republicans to “address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making historic investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients.” All 20 Democrats on the historically-bipartisan committee voted against the legislation over their objection to requiring work-capable adults to either find employment or receive free training for 20 hours per week.

“I’m disappointed that my Democrat colleagues have turned their backs on America’s heartland – that they’ve chosen partisan politics over the three years of bipartisan work in this committee,” said Chairman Mike Conaway. “I am hopeful Democrats will not hold the nation’s farmers and ranchers hostage in this process over the SNAP work and training requirements, which will provide SNAP beneficiaries not just a benefit, but a better future that only a job can provide.”

Conaway held a press call this morning to discuss the legislation with Committee Vice Chair Glenn Thompson (R-PA).

Listen to this morning’s conference call here: House Ag Committee Conference Call

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, farm bill, Government

Animal Ag Bites 4/16

carrie muehling

  • The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs and the International Poultry Welfare Alliance are conducting a search for an executive director who can provide management duties and leadership for both organizations as they develop and progress. The groups, with the assistance of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, are working with executive search firm Kincannon & Reed to fill this position by June.
  • Mark Gale will share Charleston|Orwig’s research about consumer perspectives on food labels at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2018 Stakeholders Summit set for May 3-4 at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va.
  • The Pork Checkoff has awarded 21 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s future leaders. A National Pork Board committee judged the pool of 70 applicants based on scholastic merit, leadership activities, involvement in the pork production industry and the applicants’ plans for a career in pork production.
  • The biotechnology company LEUKOCARE AG and Boehringer Ingelheim have entered into a license agreement in the field of veterinary diagnostics. Under the terms of this agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will have access to LEUKOCARE’s SPS technologies.
  • More than 20,000 individuals have gone online to obtain Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification since online training modules were relaunched on Feb. 1, 2017. BQA certifications are also available at in-person training events offered through state beef councils, cattlemen’s affiliates, extension programs and other local efforts throughout the country. The BQA program is funded by the Beef Checkoff Program.
  • With strong support and input from the National Pork Producers Council, the United States and Argentina this week finalized an export certificate that allows the U.S. pork industry to ship product to the South American country. The new opening represents the first time in 25 years that U.S. pork will be allowed into Argentina, which has the potential to be a $10 million-a-year market for U.S. pork producers.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

Trump Discusses Agricultural Trade Issues

cindy zimmerman

Governors and senators from agricultural states such as Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and North Dakota had a meeting with President Donald Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today to discuss recent trade actions and how farmers may be impacted.

In a press availability prior to the start of the meeting, President Trump talked about NAFTA, China, the European Union, and his philosophy on tariffs. “We want more trade, we want no barriers,” said Trump. “The tariffs have really helped us. When used properly, they get people to the table and that’s what we want.”

Trump says he wants a fair NAFTA deal. “NAFTA has been a disaster,” he said. “So we are either going to come up with a great NAFTA deal and a fair one or we’re just going to do something else, and agriculture will be taken care of, 100 percent.”

Listen to Trump’s comments here: Trump talks farm trade issues

AgWired Animal, Audio, Government, Trade

House Ag Committee Unveils Agriculture and Nutrition Act

cindy zimmerman

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) today introduced the first draft of a new farm bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2).

““The farm bill keeps faith with our nation’s farmers and ranchers through the current agriculture recession by providing certainty and helping producers manage the enormous risks that are inherent in agriculture,” said Rep. Conaway. “The farm bill also keeps faith with these families by not only maintaining SNAP benefits but by offering SNAP beneficiaries a springboard out of poverty to a good paying job, and opportunity for a better way of life for themselves and their families.”

Conaway introduced the bill along with House Ag Committee Vice Chair Glenn Thompson (R-PA).

Listen to the press conference: House Ag farm bill introduction

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, farm bill, Government

DSM Introduces VilliMax 70 for Poultry

Cindy Zimmerman

To meet the demands of today’s poultry producers’ wanting to improve the intestinal health and productivity of their flocks, DSM introduces VilliMax 70 – a highly concentrated sodium butyrate feed ingredient. VilliMax 70 is specially coated with a high lauric-acid fat and recommended for use in both conventional and ABF broiler and turkey programs, including NAE (No Antibiotics Ever), RWA (Raised Without Antibiotics) and all-vegetable based diets.

Studies show diets supplemented with VilliMax 70 resulted in higher concentrations of butyric acid in the ceca. Sodium butyrate also acts as an energy source for the epithelial cells lining the intestinal tract and plays a significant role in cell-to-cell communications that positively influence immune and digestive processes and improve nutrient absorption.

Animal Health, Poultry

Animal Ag Bites 4/9

carrie muehling

  • The National Pork Producers Council offers two tour packages prior to World Pork Expo. On June 4-5, a two-day Midwest tour travels across Iowa, Illinois and northern Indiana, providing perspectives on pork production, feed processing, agricultural shipping and more. On June 5, a one-day tour focuses on Central Iowa agri-businesses and pork production. Registration is available online.
  • Papillon Agricultural Company has hired Tricia Wolfswinkel, PhD, as Northwest Regional Sales Manager. Wolfswinkel will be responsible for educating dairy consultants and producers about the opportunities for increased feed efficiency with Papillon nutritional products.
  • The Angus Journal® redesign has extended to a new format for the digital edition, and it’s now available to subscribers through their AAA Login. The new flipbook format will provide a better reading experience online for the new Angus Journal. A print subscription gives you complementary access to the digital edition, which is available before the magazine hits your mailbox and includes digital add-ons such as videos and extended photo galleries, or digital-only subscriptions also are available.
  • Nick Gales has joined NutriQuest as Director of Finance. He will be responsible for providing leadership to the NutriQuest accounting & finance group.
  • The National Corn Growers Association partnered with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council to conduct a study on the benefits of poultry exports to corn. The study, conducted by World Perspectives, Inc., entitled “Corn and Poultry: A Great Partnership,” outlined the benefits realized by America’s corn farmers from exports of poultry and eggs.
  • The National Milk Producers Federation expressed thanks to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for his agency’s prompt implementation of changes in the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP), and urged dairy producers to review the new coverage options available under the improved program, which will have a new enrollment window from April 9-June 1, 2018.
  • The global regional finalists have been selected for the 2018 Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) program, the world’s largest agriscience competition for university students. Now in its 13th year, the program’s pool of nominees represents 83 universities from 28 countries. The regional finalists will attend AYS Discovery Week, held in conjunction with ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE18), May 20–22 in Lexington, Kentucky, to present their research to a panel of international judges. The prizes include a fully funded Ph.D. position for the global undergraduate winner as well as $5,000 USD, and a fully funded postdoctoral position and $10,000 USD for the global graduate winner.
  • The National Corn Growers Association is stepping up to support the education of U.S. beef producers in states around the country. The assistance is being provided through a grant program offered to state affiliates of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association that conduct Cattlemen’s Education Series events. The Cattlemen’s Education Series is a collaborative effort to advance grassroots education on topics that improve cattle production efficiency, profitability and sustainability.
  • Merck Animal Health is excited to increase availability of PORCILIS™ ILEITIS this month. PORCILIS ILEITIS is the first injectable vaccine that offers a 20-week duration of immunity (DOI) for control of ileitis caused by Lawsonia intracellularis.
  • Ty Ragsdale of Franklin, Tenn., joined the Certified Hereford Beef team April 3 as a regional brand manager. Ragsdale will work with clients across the United States to expand the availability of CHB products and promote the CHB brand.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

China Adds Tariffs on Beef and Soybeans

cindy zimmerman

More U.S. agricultural products are on the second list of retaliatory tariffs from China, including both soybeans and beef, of 25 percent.

Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), calls the action unsettling but not surprising. “This is a battle between two governments, and the unfortunate casualties will be America’s cattlemen and women and our consumers in China,” said Bacus.

Listen to Bacus in this special edition of Beltway BeefBeltway Beef report with Kent Bacus

American Soybean Association treasurer Bill Gordon, a grower from Minnesota, says the move has already cost them. “We had a 30-40 cent drop in our soybean price this morning,” said Gordon. “So just on the speculation alone of a tariff, we lost 1.7 billion.”

However, Gordon is optimistic that the situation could turn into a positive. “If it gets both countries to the table, it could create a positive trade balance, with soybeans and other ag products,” he said. “We have the products that China wants.”

Get more details from Gordon in this interview – Interview with ASA treasurer Bill Gordon, Minnesota soybean farmer

AgWired Animal, ASA, Audio, Beef, Soybean, Trade

China Strikes Back

cindy zimmerman

From almonds to frozen edible swine offal, the majority of the 128 products on which China imposed retaliatory tariffs Monday are agricultural, making farmers bear the brunt of the reaction to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.

“This is a tax on American farmers, brought about by protectionist trade policies,” said Farmers for Free Trade (FFT) Co-Chair Max Baucus. “American farmers appear to be the first casualties of an escalating trade war.”

U.S. exports of fruits, nuts, and wine will see a 15% tariff, while U.S. pork products were slapped with a 25% tariff, which National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) CEO Neil Dierks says is a significant blow to the industry. “China was the third largest value market, with more than $1 billion in U.S. pork being shipped there last year,” said Dierks. “We recognize that the U.S. and China are negotiating, and we are hopeful that the 25 percent tariffs on U.S. pork will be short lived.”

China added another 15% tariff on U.S. ethanol imports to an already-imposed 30% duty, making the total tariff 45%. “This one-two protectionist punch will ultimately harm Chinese consumers who are being denied access to the lowest-cost, highest-octane, and cleanest fuel on the planet,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “But it will also hurt farmers in the U.S. who have worked to build value-added markets for their commodities here and abroad.”

In an interview with AgNet West, California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) President John Aguirre says their industry will be severely impacted by a 15% tariff. “When you talk about U.S. wine exports, you’re really talking about California,” Aguirre said. “You’re looking at about a $197 million market for U.S. wine.”

Audio: Calif. Winegrape Growers president John Aguirre

The good news is that soybeans were not on the list announced Monday, since it could mean an overall drop in U.S. soybean exports of 40 percent, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). FFT has been sharing videos of soybean growers who are concerned about the possible trade disruption that would cause for their number one market, worth $14 billion annually. Watch one here:

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, ethanol, Exports, International, NPPC, Pork, RFA, Soybean, Trade, Wine

American Lamb Board Sets Goal of 2 Percent Annual Growth

cindy zimmerman

The American Lamb Board (ALB) has approved a new long range plan for 2018-2022 that sets a bold new demand growth goal.

The strategic objective of the plan is to increase demand for American Lamb by 2 percent annually over the next five years, for a total demand growth of 10 percent. Per capita consumption of lamb in the U.S. has remained steady over the past ten years at approximately one pound per person per year with nearly 20 percent of lamb consumption occurring during the spring holidays. Urban shoppers are the most likely to consume lamb with the highest consumption occurring on the East and West Coasts. In 2015, lamb demand was up 7 percent compared to 2014 and increased again in 2016 by 2.5 percent.

The Long Range Plan outlines Five Core Strategies to increase the demand for American Lamb.

• Grow awareness and increase usage of American Lamb among chefs and consumers
• Promote and strengthen American Lamb’s Value Proposition
• Improve the quality and consistency of American Lamb
• Support industry efforts to increase domestic supplies of lamb
• Collaborate and communicate with industry partners and stakeholders to expand efforts to address the first four strategies

“Using these core strategies, the ALB will create budgets and annual work plans to achieve the goals and initiatives set by the Long Range Plan. America’s lamb producers are excited about the work we’ll be doing over the next several years to increase the demand not just for lamb, but specifically for American Lamb,” says Ohio lamb producer Jim Percival, ALB chairman.

Click to see the full version of the Long Range Plan.

AgWired Animal, American Lamb Board, Lamb, Livestock, Meat

The Taste of Irish Dairy

jamie johansen

Irish stew, fish and chips or bread pudding might be the first foods you think of when Ireland pops into your head, but for many it’s butter. And to be even more specific, Kerrygold. While in Dublin at the Alltech KEENAN Great Green Getaway, we visited Ornua, Home of Irish Dairy and Kerrygold. I have to admit I hadn’t experienced Irish butter before my debut trip to Ireland a few weeks ago, now my mouth waters just thinking about it.

“We are very proud that in the U.S., Kerrygold is the number three butter brand and the number one imported butter,” said Monique Kelleher, Ornua communications manager. “What makes Irish butter or Kerrygold unique is that we have a grassed-based farming system here in Ireland. We tell our customers the story of Irish dairy farms. The story of the brand is very much the quality of milk that goes into the butter and the fact that our cows can graze outdoors up to 300 days a year.”

Kelleher said the grass gives Irish butter the yellow color and unique taste. Global food trends are something Ornua keeps a close eye on. They have discovered the U.S. consumer wants to know the providence of their food and understand how it’s produced.

Listen to my complete interview with Monique to learn more about the Kerrygold brand and how Ornua brings the unique taste of Irish dairy to the world. Interview with Monique Kelleher, Ornua

View and download photos from the trip here: Alltech KEENAN Great Green Getaway Photo Album

Great Green Getaway Coverage Sponsored by Alltech & KEENANKeenan logo
Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, Alltech, Audio, Dairy, Food