Dairy Groups Applaud School Milk Support

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

nmpf-logo Dairy leaders are applauding the House Education and Workforce Committee for their decision to include key dairy provisions in the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, an amendment approved today by the committee. The bipartisan amendment by Congressmen G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) is specifically targeted at addressing declining school milk consumption, and the document was unanimously approved.

“Fluid milk consumption in schools has declined in recent years, and in fact most Americans are drinking less milk than recommended by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA),” said J. David Carlin, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy at the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). “The fact that the school milk provisions have bipartisan support in this bill is an indication of how important it is to promote better consumption of milk by the nation’s students.”

idfaThat amendment bolsters recommendations made in the DGA, released earlier this year, which states that current laws should continue to make milk integral to all current child nutrition programs. The amendment also requires that necessary adjustments be made to promote better consumption of milk by the nation’s students, as well as to permit schools the ability to offer all varieties consistent with the DGA.

“This bill takes an important step toward reversing the decline in school milk consumption by asking USDA to examine how to ensure that kids are getting enough milk,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). “By better aligning the school lunch program with the dietary guidelines, options including 1% flavored milk will be back on the lunch tray in school cafeterias as a result of this legislation.”

The bill will now move to consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives.

Ag Group, consumer, Dairy, Food, idfa, Milk, National Milk, Policy, Youth

George Morris Book Signing At KY Spring Classic

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

george-morris-book The Kentucky Horse Shows have announced that they will be hosting a book signing with George H. Morris for his newly released autobiography, Unrelenting: The Real Story: Horses, Bright Lights and My Pursuit of Excellence. The signing will be hosted on the afternoon of Saturday, May 21, during the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Classic, held at the Kentucky Horse Park.

One of the most well-known, highly-respected, and internationally acclaimed equestrians alive today, George Morris has been ever-present on the rarified stage of the international riding elite for most of the 70 years he’s been in the saddle. He has represented the United States as an athlete and a coach and has instructed many of our nation’s best horsemen and women. He is known for his honest and unapologetic critiques of horse and rider teams, and his carefully chosen, perfectly enunciated words are notoriously powerful. His approval can be a rainmaker; his derision can end a career.

George Morris has lived a remarkably private life, despite his public reverence, keeping his own personal struggles with insecurity, ambition, and love behind closed doors. His book gives readers an opportunity to see, through his own words, the totality of his life.

More information about Unrelenting can be found here.

Ag Group, books, Equestrian, Equine, Kentucky Horse Park

Genus and Caribou Announce Collaboration

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Genus-logo This week, Genus plc and Caribou Biosciences, Inc. announced a multi-year strategic collaboration. As part of the collaboration, Genus will receive a worldwide, exclusive license to Caribou’s leading CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology platform in certain livestock species. The partnership marks the largest technology-driven alliance that Genus has made to date, and positions Caribou at the forefront of an emerging market for which CRISPR-Cas9 could have profound benefits to animal welfare and society.

“We are delighted to have entered into this collaboration with Genus, a leader in the animal genetics industry. We look forward to working collaboratively with Genus to apply our CRISPR-Cas9 technology platform to help improve animal health,” said Dr. Rachel Haurwitz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Caribou. “We believe this partnership validates our leadership in the CRISPR-Cas technology field and exemplifies a key component of our strategy to work with world-class partners who are aligned with our vision to deploy the technology in responsible and ethical ways to solve important problems in healthcare, agriculture, and industrial biotechnology. Genus is clearly such a partner.”

The companies will collaborate during a four-year research program, funded by Genus. The program will look into further development and optimization of Genus’ Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (“PRRSv”) resistant pigs, the discovery of which was announced by Genus in December 2015.

caribou-bs-logoThe agreement gives Genus exclusive access to Caribou’s market-leading CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which allows precise changes to be made in the genome of an animal without introducing genetic material from another organism, for the development of new traits in pigs, cattle and potentially other livestock species.

In the case of the PRRSv resistant pigs, a small change can be made to inactivate a single pig gene that produces a protein, known as CD163, which the PRRS virus requires for infection to occur. The gene editing technology used to create protection from PRRSv does not involve transplanting genes from one species to another.

“This latest investment into genome editing ensures Genus will remain at the forefront of the development and application of technology to support the well-being of livestock. Caribou’s CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing platform and its unique skills are significant to Genus as they provide the capabilities necessary to achieve the next stage of our PRRSv and other gene editing pipeline programs,” said Dr. Jonathan Lightner, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D of Genus. “This relationship will enable new and exciting research opportunities that will strengthen and accelerate Genus’ gene editing capabilities. We look forward to working closely with the Caribou team.”

Ag Group, Animal Health, Biotech, Company Announcement, Genetics, Genomics, Research, Science, Technology

FGI And Monsanto Announce Research Agreements

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

FGI Forage Genetics International (FGI) and Monsanto announced this week that FGI has acquired all of the commercial rights from the parties’ existing alfalfa research collaboration. The groups also announced that Monsanto has licensed to FGI certain intellectual property relating to its alfalfa traits and technology. The deal will support the ongoing discovery and commercial delivery of innovative alfalfa seed products through FGI’s and Monsanto’s own seed brands, as well as licensed partners.

The agreement will also support the continued expansion of the commercial reach of alfalfa technology offerings, such as Roundup Ready Alfalfa and HarvXtra Alfalfa with Roundup Ready Technology.

Alfalfa will continue to be a part of Monsanto’s portfolio approach, and they will continue to offer the products through its DEKALB, Channel and regional seed brand dealer networks. Monsanto also plans to invest in the applicability of novel trait technologies for different cropping systems, including alfalfa.

monsanto“Monsanto is committed to being the collaborator of choice within agriculture and we see tremendous opportunity in expanding our network of partnerships,” said Mike Frank, vice president and chief commercial officer of Monsanto Company. “Through this agreement with FGI, we’re able to expand our commercial and technology reach, while bringing greater focus on unlocking resources to drive growth in our integrated solutions portfolio.”

Alfalfa is an incredibly strategic part of FGI’s forage portfolio, and the company plans to continue offering the same brands and products currently available on the market. This deal provides FGI the ability to deliver current and future alfalfa technology offerings in the key markets where they operate.

“Forage Genetics has always been interested in fully serving our customers and the grower with a complete alfalfa offering. This deal allows us to bring a complete offering to the table while opening all other doors to future advancements,” said Shawn Barnett, president, Forage Genetics International.

Ag Group, Alfalfa, Monsanto, Research, Science

Report Shows Economic Benefit of TPP

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Many of the nation’s livestock and animal production groups have stated their support for the ncba-200U.S. International Trade Commission’s recently released report on the potential benefit that is offered to the U.S. economy by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The findings of the report align with many of these groups’ previous statements suggesting that the free trade agreement will work to provide multiple benefits for many sectors of the agriculture industry.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Tracy Brunner said that the report confirms TPP’s potential to not only even the playing field for U.S. beef exports, but will also work to support U.S. economic growth.

“Cattlemen and women worked closely with the administration through the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure TPP met the highest standards and lowered taxes and trade barriers in all member countries,” said Brunner. “We supported the conclusion of the agreement in Atlanta in October and have called on Congress to swiftly pass this agreement. This report clearly shows that TPP would not only lower the taxes on U.S. beef into critical markets like Japan and level the playing field with our competitors, it would provide a boon to the entire U.S. economy.”

The report states that the TPP would increase annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $42.7 billion and expand U.S. employment by close to 128,000 full-time equivalents by 2032. The report also estimates that those benefits would continue to grow ten years after full implementation. The growth after full implementation would expand U.S. GDP by $67 billion and employment by 174,000 FTE’s. Overall beef exports are expected to increase by $876 million once TPP is fully implemented.

nmpf-logoThe U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) had positive responses to the report as well, and maintain their belief that the dairy industry will be positively impacted by the free trade agreement.

“If properly implemented and enforced, on balance the agreement will represent a step forward for the U.S. dairy industry based on its improvements to the rules of the road governing trade among the 12 signatories. In addition, although the market access portion of the agreement fell short of the export opportunities our industry sought to secure, our economic analysis concluded that overall the TPP dairy market access provisions will be neutral to slightly positive.” Tom Suber, USDEC president, and Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO, said in a joint statement this week.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), which has been a leading voice in support of the TPP, also found the report’s findings to be a win for agriculture, and continues to encourage U.S. lawmakers to pass it.

“The TPP will benefit American consumers, workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers, and we’re confident it will provide enormous new market opportunities for high-quality U.S. pork products,” said NPPC President John Weber. “America’s pork producers strongly support the TPP, and we urge Congress to quickly pass it.”

The report can be accessed here.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Beef, Dairy, economics, Export, Export, National Milk, NCBA, Trade

NFI Launches New Website

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

image003 The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has announced the launch of www.AboutSeafood.com, a newly redesigned website with major updates to its functionality and direction.

AboutSeafood.com will not host any recipes, and will instead be used as a home for advocacy and industry information. The site offers a dynamic platform that will bring the newest content to visitors, and live streaming social media updates, as well as a guide to trending seafood topics and new video content, will allow the site to focus on what’s important in real time.

The new site offers an important and ever-changing resource in today’s dynamically changing industry. It will help work to promote the latest in seafood science, push back against erroneous reporting, and make the seafood community aware of important policy and regulatory issues.

“The website landscape has changed dramatically in just the past few years,” said NFI’s Communications Manager, Lynsee Fowler. “Visitors want the latest content in one or two clicks. They want video, opinion, images and information all in one place. That’s what the new AboutSeafood.com provides.”

Fowler will host a live Periscope broadcast to introduce the new site on Thursday May 19th, at 2pm EST. Viewers can tune in by following NFI on Periscope via the Twitter handle @NFIMedia.

Recipes and related posts will continue to be published on on NFI’s Pinterest page Eating Seafood and can access all of that content and more, like Facebook and Twitter, via the new site.

Ag Group, Company Announcement, Fish, Food, Technology

Pacific Ag Opens North Dakota Office

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

PACAG-001 Final Logo CMYK Pacific Ag has opened a field office near Fargo, North Dakota to serve the increasing demand for wheat straw residue among the dairy, beef, mushroom and erosion control industries. The company has hired Tom and Stephanie Borgen, local farmers and wheat straw providers, as regional managers to develop partnerships with growers and drive sales of wheat straw to target markets.

Pacific Ag is the nation’s largest builder and operator of supply chains for agricultural residue. The company offers a high quality product, delivered via professional logistics at an affordable and predictable price to markets, including dairies and feedyards, mushroom compost and erosion control industries and North American biorefineries.

“In Pacific Ag, Stephanie and I saw a company that shares our vision for how sustainable residue harvesting can help farmers add to their bottom line,” said Tom Borgen. “It’s a great chance for us to grow personally and professionally by working with a world class management team. Together we can more quickly and more widely expand the market for wheat straw by providing customers a professionally-managed supply chain that offers large-scale, consolidated supply, precise quality control and stable, competitive pricing.”

Pacific Ag has nearly 20 years of experience harvesting residue across the U.S. and has developed the harvest methods and expertise to preserve soil health while reducing ash and other foreign matter in the resulting bale or ground stover. With operations in California, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Iowa and North Carolina, the company has developed trusted relationships with hundreds of growers representing nearly half a billion tons of agricultural residue. Pacific Ag’s dedicated baling fleet, its proprietary supply chain management system (Powerstock ProTM) and its trucking and logistics division enable it to offer end markets something they’ve never had — a reliable supply of the highest quality residue product and multi-year, fixed price contracts.

“Tom and Stephanie are a great addition to the expanding Pacific Ag team,” said Bill Levy, founder and CEO of Pacific Ag. “They have a strong reputation for integrity, quality and service among both growers and customers, and they will play a key role in establishing and managing our presence in the region. We look forward to leveraging our national supply chain system to increase opportunities for both growers and customers in the Upper Midwest.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Finance

Living Longer with the Incredible Egg

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 8.49.59 AMEmma Morano, who has recently been declared the world’s oldest living person, believes eggs are the secret to longevity. She’s been eating three eggs a day for decades after a doctor suggested it when she was a young woman. Now, at 116, Morano is believed to be the last documented person alive who was born in the 1800s. The American Egg Board congratulates Ms. Morano on her amazing life and we wish her many more years of good health and spirit.

Whether or not eggs may be part of the key to longevity, one fact remains certain. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, the incredible edible egg offers one of the best nutritional values to be had – especially when it comes to high-quality protein. And, with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans removing the daily cholesterol limits and recommending them in all healthy eating patterns, people can feel good about including them in their diet.

Ms. Morano says she eats three raw eggs daily, which the USDA and other experts advise against. But cooked eggs still retain their nutritional value and are incredibly versatile. In fact, it’s said that the folds in a chef’s hat represents the hundreds of ways to prepare eggs, including hard-boiling them. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, hard-boil a dozen eggs using this new, faster and easy-to-peel method for a nutritious snack or as a topping for fresh vegetables and salads all week long.

AEB, Ag Group, Eggs, Food, Health

U.S. Lamb Moves into Taiwan

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ASI_logoEarlier tis week the USDA announced access to Taiwan for American lamb. American Sheep Industry Association President Burton Pfliger (N.D.) applauds the announcement as this is the first new export-market access for American lamb in years.

“The sheep industry appreciates the department’s efforts in elevating entry for U.S. lamb exports as a market access priority and for making meaningful progress for lamb to move into Taiwan after more than a decade,” comments Pfliger. “We also want to acknowledge the years of assistance from Gov. Butch Otter (Idaho) in driving this issue with USDA.

“Taiwan holds excellent potential for U.S. lamb as this market provides an opportunity for high-quality cuts of American lamb that will command a premium and will provide long-term export growth for our products,” continues Pfliger.

“Reopening these markets has been a top priority for the lamb industry, because lack of access in Asia has been a significant obstacle for U.S. lamb exports,” explains Dennis Stiffler, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Mountain States Rosen and vice chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. “Weakness of the Mexican peso and Canadian dollar has recently reduced exports to our two largest markets. So now more than ever, U.S. lamb needs a broader range of alternative destinations. Our industry has had some recent success in the Middle East, Central America and the Caribbean, but we really need greater access to Asian markets in order to meet our export goals. We see the reopening of Taiwan as a great first step.”

Last year, Taiwan imported nearly 17,714 metric tons of lamb and sheep meat products, valued at more than $74 million. In terms of value, the market was split about evenly between Australia and New Zealand – the only two supplying countries currently serving Taiwan. It was the 11th-largest export for New Zealand lamb and sheep meat in 2015 and it was Australia’s 12th-largest market.

Through the first quarter of 2016, U.S. lamb and lamb variety meat exports totaled 2,676 metric tons – up 18 percent year-over-year. However, export value was 16 percent below last year’s pace at $4.5 million.

Ag Group, ASI, Export, Lamb, Sheep, Trade

Attend PORK Academy Seminars at #WPX16

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 4.10.06 PMThe Pork Checkoff’s Producer Opportunity for Revenue and Knowledge (PORK) Academy sessions will again be part of the World Pork Expo, with seminars held Wednesday, June 8, and Thursday, June 9, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. The annual sessions are designed to educate pig farmers on the latest trends in pork production. PORK Academy seminars will be held at the Varied Industries Building, Room C.

“PORK Academy is a one-stop-shop where producers can hear first about the latest pork industry news from the top leading experts,” said James Coates, chair of the Pork Checkoff’s Producer and State Services Committee and a pork producer from Franklin, Kentucky. “The sessions allow attendees to learn more about upcoming initiatives and how Pork Checkoff dollars are being allocated. When pig farmers leave these sessions, they will go home with more knowledge and new ways to advance their operation.”

Topics include:
Changes on Antibiotic Usage
Cybersecurity
Common Swine Industry Audit – Producer Perspectives and Resources
Understanding the Biology of Seasonal Infertility to Develop
Three Essential Steps to avoid Health, Safety and Environmental Disasters
What Would the Grill Say? – Checkoff Consumer Campaign
U.S. Exports and International Trade

Ag Group, Events, NPPC, Pig, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Swine, World Pork Expo