Land O’Lakes to Purchase Animal Feed Business

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Land O’Lakes, Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire Southern States Cooperative, Inc.’s animal feed business. This follows the announcement earlier this year that Southern States had entered into a supply agreement with Land O’Lakes, Inc. through its WinField United crop inputs and insights unit.

“This is an excellent opportunity to expand our relationship with Southern States and increase our animal feed business in the eastern U.S.,” says Chris Policinski, president and CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

“We are looking forward to engaging with the Southern States members and customers to understand their needs,” says Beth Ford, group executive vice president and chief operating officer, Land O’Lakes, Inc. “We plan to provide uninterrupted access to the Southern States-branded products customers trust for their animals, and we will work every day to deliver the quality, innovation and expertise they expect of us.”

“We are pleased with the opportunities this partnership with a fellow cooperative brings to Southern States,” says Jeff Stroburg, President and CEO of Southern States Cooperative. “Our members will continue to receive the same level of service from our retail locations while benefitting from Land O’Lakes’ feed business, Purina Animal Nutrition and their knowledge and experience in manufacturing the quality feed our customers expect.”

Agribusiness, Feed, Land O'Lakes, Nutrition

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • Shane Bedwell, American Hereford Association director of breed improvement and COO, was recently honored by Cattle Business Weekly as one of the Top 10 Industry Leaders under 40 for 2016. The annual honor is awarded to 10 leaders involved in agriculture making a significant impact on the industry.
  • Pastors and other ag leaders from Wisconsin are coming together to participate in a first-ever conference whose sole purpose is to re-energize the faithful within the region’s agricultural community. The one-day event, 1st Annual Faith, Family, Farming Conference, will be held at The Ravine 2628 Manitowoc Rd. in Green Bay, WI on Feb. 15, 2017.
  • The 2017 Annual Meeting & Convention will take place Feb. 10-11, in San Antonio, Texas. The schedule is comprised of events and activities for the whole family. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to mingle among and connect with fellow International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) members and industry leaders.
Animal Bites

National Chicken Council Comments on EPA Biofuel Volumes

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

chicken-councilThe EPA announced it is mandating 15 billion gallons of ethanol to be added to the domestic fuel supply in 2017, which is 200 million gallons more than the agency’s proposed volume put forth in May. The National Chicken Council released the following response to this announcement.

Over the last four years, EPA has raised the final volume above the initial proposed volumes by a cumulative 1.53 billion gallons. In setting the 2017 volume at 15 billion gallons, EPA has breached the 10 percent blend wall and effectively surpassed the statutory cap on ethanol set in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

“Ethanol exports add nothing to U.S. energy security and the RFS is not being administered in keeping with Congressional intent,” said NCC President Mike Brown. “The RFS bureaucracy has taken on a life of its own and it is time for Congress to stop this runaway train. American chicken producers are only one drought, flood or freeze away from another crisis. The RFS has cost our industry $59 billion more in feed costs since it was implemented.”

Indeed, Congress in the statute set a cap on conventional ethanol at 15 billion gallons to prevent ethanol production from artificially diverting too great a volume of corn from feed, food and seed use to energy. At the time Congress set this cap, ethanol exports were not envisioned. However, according to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. exports have averaged nearly 840 million gallons in the past two years and are trending even higher for the first three quarters of 2016.

Ag Group, Chicken, ethanol, National Chicken Council, Poultry

Protect Your Farm & Demonstrate Transparency

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

16nafb-56-editedOver the last ten years, the Animal Ag Alliance have sent representatives to animal rights conferences to listen and to learn about trends, campaigns planned and tactics intended to be deployed. The Alliances’s President and CEO, Kay Johnson Smith, was on-hand at NAFB’s Trade Talk to talk about current and historical trends in animal rights activism and how the agricultural industry can protect against the misinformation these groups share.

“We have seen many trends targeting the retailers and restaurants. That is going to continue. From that, we produce a report called, ‘Under Pressure,’ highlighting some of the plans, campaigns they plan to use to get retailers to do what they want. These groups like the Humane Society of the United State (HSUS) have the appearance on the outside to be polished and professional. But it is really important for everybody to understand that their end-game is exactly the same as PETA’s, to eliminate animal agriculture.”

There is a lot of information out there these days. Consumers have a hard time knowing who they can trust. Kay said it all starts with communication and encourages everyone involved in agriculture to use social media to demonstrate transparency.

Listen to my complete interview with Kay as she shares other ways to tell your ag story with consumers and a sneak peek into the 2017 Stakeholders Summit Connect to Protect Animal Ag. Interview with Kay Johnson Smith, Animal Ag Alliance

View and download photos from the event here: NAFB Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the NAFB convention is sponsored by
NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
Ag Group, Animal Activists, Animal Ag Alliance, Audio, Livestock

Hereford Launches Fed Steer Shootout Program

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

herefordThe American Hereford Association (AHA) and National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) are teaming up with Gregory Feedlots, Inc. to launch the 2017 NJHA Fed Steer Shootout which will give NJHA members cattle-feeding industry education and experience.

Participants will have the ability to estimate feedyard performance and carcass merit, and then compare the information to actual performance data. They will also measure and compare the profitability of their animals during the contest.

“This is a fun and competitive program that will allow junior members to find out what their herd genetics are capable of doing,” said Shane Bedwell, AHA COO and director of breed improvement. “There are many great young breeders utilizing progressive genetics. This program will help recognize their efforts and provide learning opportunities to help them make selection decisions in the future.”

To qualify for the steer-only program, cattle must be purebred Hereford or Hereford-influenced steers. Hereford-influenced steers must meet Certified Hereford Beef (CHB®) live-animal specifications to qualify for the Shootout. In addition, cattle in the program must have a birthdate of Jan. 1, 2016, or later, have a weight of 600-800 pounds, have been weaned 30 days or more prior to delivery and have had two rounds of vaccinations.

Ag Group, Beef, Cattle, Feed, Hereford, Nutrition

Pastures for Pollinators is a Win-Win

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

pastures-for-pollinators-logoA new clover seed mixture developed by Grassland Oregon (GO) is a win-win for livestock producers and the environment.

Pastures for Pollinators is a seed blend including a variety of flowering annual clovers that could help enhance pollinator habitat nationwide, according to GO co-founder Risa DeMasi.

nafb-16-risa“There are 400 million acres of pasture ground in the U.S., and it happens to sit right in the corridor where pollinators are migrating,” said DeMasi during an interview at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual Trade Talk. “Using these clovers we can add things that are good for livestock, good for the soil, good for the pollinators, good for the environment and also can produce good returns for farmers.”

As part of their commitment to sustainable farming practices, DeMasi says Pastures for Pollinators will be donating the profits from the program towards sustainable pasture management research.

GO has been researching and developing pollinator-friendly varieties of cover crops for the past 15 years, and the company believes the products offer benefits for livestock, pollinators, and the environment while simultaneously producing good returns for growers.

“Products like our cold tolerant clovers are producing incredible amounts of nitrogen for farmers to help bring up nutrients from deep within the soil, and it provides an excellent habitat for pollinators,” said DeMasi.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Risa DeMasi, Grassland Oregon

Learn more at

2016 NAFB Convention

Coverage of the NAFB convention is sponsored by
NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
Audio, Forage, NAFB

Referendum to Reinstate Iowa Beef Checkoff Held Nov. 30

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

unnamedThe Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association remind eligible beef producers of the November 30th referendum on whether the refundable $.50 per head Iowa beef checkoff should be reinstated.

Any individual, firm, corporation, partnership or association that has owned or acquired cattle during year prior to the referendum (December 1, 2015 – November 30, 2016) is an “Eligible Beef Producer” for the purposes of this referendum.

A person shall not be considered a producer if: 1) the person’s only share in the proceeds of a sale of cattle or beef is a sales commission, handling fee, or other service fee; or 2) the person acquired ownership of cattle to facilitate the transfer of ownership of such cattle from the seller to a third party; resold such cattle no later than ten days from the date on which the person acquired ownership; and certified as required by rules adopted by the council.

Producers may also vote by absentee ballot prior to the referendum by contacting the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Producers may call 515-281-5321, email or visit and download the form located in “Hot Topics.” They may also visit the Henry Wallace Building, 502 E 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319 to solicit an Absentee Ballot Request Form.

Ag Group, Beef, Beef Checkoff, Marketing, Promotion

Pork Board Discusses Industry Trends

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

pork checkoff The National Pork Board hosted a media teleconference this morning to address the current state of U.S. pork production, highlight current market trends, and define the impact these trends are having on America’s 60,000 pork producers.

Speaking on the call were Jan Archer, National Pork Board president, Len Steiner, Steiner Consulting Group, Patrick Fleming, Director, Market Intelligence and Innovation for National Pork Board, and Brett Stuart, Global AgriTrends. Their remarks were followed by a Q & A session with members of the media.

Archer addressed the market from the producers’ perspective, emphasizing the importance of the Pork Checkoff’s marketing outreach.

“Times like this really show how valuable the Pork Checkoff can be by pooling our funds together to accomplish those things we wouldn’t be able to do on our own,” she said.

Steiner addressed the overarching economic dynamics of the current market situation, discussing how the growing economy is generally good for meat demand, how low corn prices led to the increase in pork output, and the increasingly important role exports play in the market. He also discussed challenges like retail prices that remain constant despite decreasing wholesale prices and the fact that processing capacity has not kept pace with supply growth.

Fleming discussed domestic retail marketing trends and sales. He explained how pork sales are driven by flavor, versatility, and shared data covering retail and food service trends.

Stuart highlighted the international environment and current status of U.S. pork exports. He detailed the valuable role exports play for U.S. pork producers, as U.S. pork exports have accounted for 22% of total U.S. pork production over the last five years, and also highlighted how utilizing exports allows producers to receive the maximum value for their product regardless of the domestic market’s current state.

Listen to the full conference here:
Pork Production and Consumer Demand

Ag Group, Audio, Company Announcement, consumer, economics, Markets, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Trade

Sheep Industry Update From #NAFB16

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

16nafb-58-editedOne of the bright spots in the commodity markets as we wrap up 2016 comes from sheep. NAFB’s Trade Talk gives voice to ag businesses and commodity groups each year. The sheep industry was well represented again this year with the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and the American Lamb Board.

“It’s trending downward as you see that seasonality, which we traditionally see this time of year. But we haven’t seen near the severity of the downward pressure we have seen in the beef market, the corn or the bean market. It’s adding value to a lot of producers balance sheets. We even have producers adding more ewes to their operations,” said Burton Pfliger, President ASI.

An essential component to an open and transparent market is Mandatory Price Reporting. Listen to my complete interview with Burton as he shares it’s impact on the sheep community along with details into their Let’s Grow program, new educational materials and what we can expect at the upcoming ASI Convention. Interview with Burton Pfliger, President ASI

16nafb-57-editedResearch is at the heart of the promotion of lamb products from the American Lamb Board. Lamb Board member, Jim Percival, said some of their most recent studies have been focused on flavor and quality. “We are working with Colorado State University and The Ohio State University to identify those compounds in lamb that create taste. There are a lot of people that absolutely love lamb and there are people who will tell you they don’t like lamb because of the taste.”

Jim said they want to ensure consistent taste whether the lamb is consumed at a high-end restaurant or bought at the meat case in a local grocery store. Listen to my complete interview with Jim to learn the 12 new lamb chop best practices and lessons learned from the Tri-Lamb Young Leader Forum here: Interview with Jim Percival, American Lamb Board member

View and download photos from the event here: NAFB Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the NAFB convention is sponsor ed by
NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
Ag Group, ASI, Audio, Food, Lamb, Livestock, Research, Sheep