Make Plans to Attend Missouri Pork Expo

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 5.09.19 PMThe 2015 Missouri Pork Expo is set for Feb. 10-11 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. Tim Safranski, University of Missouri Extension state swine specialist, says this year’s expo offers programs for everyone in the hog industry.

“There is an event called ‘In the Show Ring’ aimed largely at the youth show-pig folks,” Safranski says. “Individual Pork Quality Assurance certification training is offered during the expo, as well as a series of one-hour and half-hour seminars.”

At the Pork Expo trade show, Feb. 10, vendors will have information on genetics, equipment, reproductive tools, feed additives, manure pit management and more.

The Pork Leadership Breakfast on Feb. 11 will feature a keynote address by Jim Wiesemeyer, a senior vice president at Informa Economics. The MU Swine Focus team will also give a series of talks on Wednesday.

“I think there’s real value in the educational programing,” Safranski says. “This is really an opportunity for the industry to come together statewide. A lot of the leaders are here and hopefully we are growing the future leaders through some of our youth outreach activities.”

Admission to the Pork Expo is free, although tickets must be purchased for the barbecue lunch, Pork Industry Banquet and Leadership Breakfast. To register and for more information on the 2015 Missouri Pork Expo, visit and click on the “Events” tab.

Ag Group, Pork, Swine

Egg Issues Forum at Iowa State

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dept_isu_nameplateThe Egg Industry Center (EIC) at Iowa State University will hold its 2015 Issues Forum in Des Moines April 7 and 8. The Forum program is full of informational sessions and related events of interest to egg producers, processors and allied egg-industry groups.

The event will start at 1 p.m. on April 7 at the Embassy Suites Des Moines Downtown with a welcome from Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

Confirmed topics include:
· A beginner’s perspective of cage-free housing system management
· Beyond the global food safety initiative
· A California realities panel discussing what has transpired since the Prop 2 went to effect on Jan 1, 2015
· Egg processing and value-added opportunities
· Genetic improvement for alternative hen-housing
· China egg production and research trends
· Global market trends for feed grains
· Industry’s labor force challenge
· American Egg Board grows egg consumption
· Salmonella control: Past, present and future
· Salmonella and eggs: What we really know
· The future of the Coalition for Sustainable EggSupply (CSES) and data related to consumer decision-making

Three special events of no additional cost are scheduled for 2015 Forum participants. Prior to Forum, participants have the option of touring Hy-Line International’s Dallas Center facility.

On the evening of April 7, Forum sponsor Big Dutchman will host a reception at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates museum and gardens. The final event is a post-forum workshop led by two experts from Penn StateUniversity on April 8 (1-5 p.m.).

For more information stop by the EIC Booth #C9156 at the International Production and Processing Expo or visit the center’s webpage. The online registration system opens in early February, and early-bird registration will end March 15. For other Forum questions contact Lesa Vold at or 515.294.4037.

Ag Group, Education, Eggs, IPPE, Poultry

NFU Cites Study That Refutes Canadian COOL Arguments

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

NFUlogo1The National Farmers Union has shared a new study that refutes claims that Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is hurting the Canadian cattle industry.

According to the study, authored by Auburn University Alfa Eminent Scholar and Professor C. Robert Taylor, it was “economic downturn” and other factors, not Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), that caused recent decreased demand for cattle imports into to the U.S.

The study also found:

– COOL has not had a significant negative effect on the price paid for imported slaughter cattle relative to comparable domestic cattle. In fact, the fed cattle price basis declined after the law went into effect. “The price basis is lower in the six years since implementation of COOL than it was the preceding four years,” the study notes;

– COOL did not negatively impact imports of slaughter cattle. “Qualitative and econometric analysis of Mandatory Price Reporting (MPR) and monthly trade and price data cast considerable doubt on assertions that COOL negatively affected imports of slaughter cattle,” says the study. Failure to recognize the effects of imported and domestic captive supplies of slaughter cattle and beef demand uncertainty, along with other factors, played a larger role in reduced import demand than acknowledged in previous studies.

– COOL did not significantly affect imports of feeder cattle. “USDA monthly data on imports of 400-700 lb. cattle did not show COOL having a significant negative effect of imports of feeder cattle from either Canada or Mexico relative to placements in U.S. feedlots,” the study points out.

The COOL Reform Coalition, which includes several U.S. livestock organizations, recently called for immediate action to assure the law complies with international trade obligations but National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says Congress should “stay the course on COOL.”

Ag Group, COOL, International, Trade

Largest Horn Measuring Event Moves to Oklahoma

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50thAnnivButtonEach year, the Guiness World Record has been broken during the Horn Showcase measuring event hosted by the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America (TLBAA). Registered Texas Longhorns are measured at either a satellite location or the event venue while cattle are on display.

Previously held in Fort Worth, Texas, the TLBAA is pleased to announce 2015 Horn Showcase will be held at the Comanche County Fairgrounds in the Great Plains Coliseum located in Lawton, Oklahoma on October 1-3, 2015.

A little known fact about the TLBAA-although the headquarters is located in Fort Worth, the association’s first membership meeting was in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1964. Today, Texas Longhorn Breeders Association has 3,500 members and more than 550,000 animals registered.

“The TLBAA Horn Showcase steering committee looked at various venues and locations prior to choosing the Lawton facility. The financial and event support pledged from the Lawton-Ft. Sill Chamber of Commerce, along with the ability to conduct the entire event under virtually one roof will lend itself to making the 2015 Horn Showcase the prestigious event that tradition dictates,” said Barbara Linke, TLBAA President/CEO. “More than 550 animals from 20 states and Canada will be exhibited. With 2.5 persons accompanying each animal for an average hotel stay of three days, the economic impact realized in Lawton nears $2.2 million.”

During the event you can expect to see many wonderful exhibits of registered TexasLonghorns, as well as experience measurements, non-haltered shows,

Ag Group, Beef

DCHA Calls for Scholarship Program Applicants

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

dchaThe Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) is now accepting applications for its annual scholarship program. The goal of this long-standing program is to invest in the future of the dairy industry by offering scholastic support to outstanding agriculture-focused students.

“As an organization focused on the future, we feel very strongly about investing in our industry’s youth,” says Jack Banker, calf and heifer raiser and current DCHA president. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and we are pleased to offer a $1,000 scholarship opportunity to the DCHA membership this year. We’re really looking for applicants who have a passion for the dairy calf and heifer industry and want to work in that section of the industry after graduation.”

The annual DCHA scholarship is awarded to a student currently enrolled in agriculture-related field at an accredited college or university. Applicants must have completed at least one year of post-high school education. A person may receive the scholarship only once, and must meet the following requirements for consideration.

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must:
· Be a member of DCHA, or the son, daughter or legal dependent of a DCHA member
· Have completed at least one year of post-high school education
· Be attending an accredited college or university
· Be enrolled in a field of agriculture (e.g. dairy science, animal/veterinary science, agricultural technical course, ag communications, etc.) or in a course of study with relevance to agriculture; preference given to dairy calf and heifer related fields

Applications must be postmarked by Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 and can be emailed or mailed to: P.O. Box 1752, Madison, WI 53701.

The 2015 DCHA scholarship recipient will be recognized during the 2015 DCHA annual conference, themed “Connect with the Best.” The conference is set for March 31-April 1, 2015 in Madison, Wis.

Ag Group, calf, Dairy

QIAGEN Gets Certification for Detection of Listeria

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QLogo_50mm_4cWhile at the 2015 International Production & Processing Expo, QIAGEN Inc. will also be highlighting their newly approved mericon® Pathogen Detection Assays for Listeria species and Listeria monocytogenes. This product received AOAC Performance Tested MethodSM (PTM) certification from the AOAC-Research Institute at the end of 2014. The AOAC, an independent third party international organization that evaluates analytical methods for food safety and other applications, validated the two assays with single enrichment in selected foods from meat, seafood, fruit/vegetable and dairy sectors, and in environmental tests on common food production surfaces. The AOAC evaluation assures food companies and laboratories that QIAGEN’s mericon kits and the QIAsymphony RGQ automation platform have been demonstrated to reliably detect Listeria spp. (PTM #061402) and L. monocytogenes (PTM #061401) in various food matrices and environmental surfaces.

Contamination of produce and other foods with Listeria monocytogenes and related bacterial species can cause serious, life-threatening infections. The Centers for Disease Control, calling listeriosis “an important public health problem,” estimates the invasive infection sickens about 1,600 people in the U.S. and causes an annual average of about 260 deaths. In 2011, the largest single U.S. outbreak – associated with cantaloupe from one farm – caused 147 persons to become ill, caused 33 deaths and one miscarriage. Older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable.

“QIAGEN is addressing the critical needs of today’s food safety market with a broad range of pathogen detection assays and an efficient and complete workflow on our renowned QIAsymphony RGQ automation platform. This now AOAC-PTMSM validated mericon assay platform for Listeria offers food producers and laboratories an important solution for protecting food from contamination with this dangerous pathogen,” said Dr. Marcia Armstrong, Scientific Affairs Manager, Life Sciences Business Area. “We are very pleased to add Listeria to our content menu with the AOAC-certified mericon Salmonella Pathogen Detection Kit. The mericon assay platform represents the broadest portfolio on the market providing highly sensitive and specific molecular detection of pathogen nucleic acids for users safeguarding the food supply chain. Ready-to-use pathogen detection kits combined with the QIAsymphony RGQ automation enable users to process over 400 samples in a 12-hour shift.”

Highly flexible and scalable, QIAGEN’s food safety product line addresses every stage of the workflow, from automated extraction to target detection. QIAGEN expects to seek additional AOAC certifications for a range of pathogen assays, such as E. coli O157 and Campylobacter. In addition to PCR-based detection of pathogens, QIAGEN provides systems for the identification and quantification of DNA from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and for the authentication of important ingredients.

Please stop by QIAGEN’s booth number A412 or attend their Farm to Fork Customer Appreciation Event on January 29, 2014 from 5:00-6:30pm EST at Georgia World Congress Center, Room A410 to learn more about this and other QIAGEN animal health and food safety products.

Agribusiness, Food, IPPE, Research

Canada Cattlemen Comment on COOL

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

afbf15-canada-cattleThe Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) attended the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual convention in mid-January as part of its ongoing lobbying efforts related to U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). The CCA is making sure that U.S. farmers, ranchers and legislators understand that Canada is serious about imposing tariffs on a wide variety of U.S. agriculture and processed products if the discrimination against our livestock caused by COOL is not eliminated.

At the AFBF convention, the CCA ensured that U.S. farmers and ranchers are aware of what is at stake and actively sought their assistance in bringing the COOL legislation into conformity with the World Trade organization (WTO). AFBF’s policy is to support COOL as long as it is WTO compliant. This policy works for the CCA as long as AFBF staff in Washington have the direction to work actively on making COOL compliant – which it clearly is not.

CCA President Dave Solverson noted that CCA met with leadership from many state Farm Bureau organizations that in the past have supported or been split on COOL but now are re-evaluating their positions. Many agree that COOL has not delivered the once anticipated benefits for U.S. cattle and hog producers. CCA heard many acknowledge that as long as COOL remains intact for fruit, vegetables, nuts and catfish, they would not stand in the way of an amendment or repeal of the red meat portion of the COOL legislation.

In terms of resolving COOL, the CCA feels that the simplest solution (and one that the most people seem to agree on) is to repeal COOL for beef and pork. Ultimately, the provisions of the legislation that necessitate imported livestock to be segregated need to be eliminated. The CCA expects that by this coming summer either the U.S. will have to comply or Canada will implement retaliatory tariff s on U.S. exports to our market. The CCA reiterated that it is our sincere ho

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president, Dave Solverson, shared their point of view on COOL you can listen to his comments here: CCA President Dave Solverson Comments on COOL at AFBF

AFBF, Ag Group, Cattle, COOL, International, Trade

COOL Coalition Calls for Immediate Action

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

COOL Reform CoalitionAs part of the COOL Reform Coalition, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has signed onto a letter to Congress asking for immediate action to assure U.S. compliance with international trade obligations. The coalition is comprised of a diverse group of association and companies that represent U.S. food, agriculture and manufacturing industries, each having a great stake in potential trade retaliation.

“Canada has already issued a preliminary retaliation list targeting a broad spectrum of commodities and manufactured products that would affect every state in the country,” states the letter. “Mexico has not yet announced a preliminary retaliation list, but has implemented retaliatory tariffs in the past which may be indicative of future tariff actions. If tariff retaliation is authorized, U.S. industries would suffer billions in lost sales and take years to recover lost export markets after the tariffs are lifted.”

The complete letter can be found here.

Ag Group, Beef, Export, NCBA, Trade

Elanco, Tyson Foods & GNP Company Fight Hunger

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

check presentationElanco announced results of its #Feedthe9 community outreach to help fight hunger. In support of its vision for a food-secure world, Elanco’s poultry business unit donated a total of $18,000 to three customers’ community partners, and worked with 400 employees at GNP CompanyTM and Tyson Foods locations in three states to provide more than 10 tons of food and package over 14,000 meals. Elanco also recognized Tyson Foods team members in Monroe, North Carolina, for generating the most social media posts using the hashtag #Feedthe9TysonNC to raise awareness about their partner, Operation Reach Out.

“We appreciated the chance to partner with employees at Tyson Foods and GNP Company to develop events involving local food-related charities,” said Chris Ready, U.S./Canada food animal director of marketing for Elanco. “Beyond helping our valued customers cultivate community relationships, #Feedthe9 events are encouraging more people to become personally involved in the journey of creating food security for the world’s 9 billion people by 2050.”

tysonEach of the three #Feedthe9 events held in late 2014 featured activities uniquely designed to meet needs of local food charities. In Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, GNP Company employee-volunteers packaged 14,040 meals to benefit local clients of Kids Fighting Hunger. Tyson Foods team members at its Corydon, Indiana, plant donated 390 bags of food items and helped unload 7.5 tons of chicken contributed by the company at three Dare to Care food banks. In Monroe, North Carolina, Operation Reach Out received a truckload of food items donated by Tyson Foods team members and chicken products contributed by the company.

Other community volunteers also participated in the events, which encouraged attendees to go beyond focusing on only the problem of hunger.

“The key is to shift the conversation toward a focus on viable solutions that ultimately provide food security,” said Kerryann Kocher, director of the poultry business unit for Elanco. “Creating a world where 9 billion people have access to enough nutritious food that’s affordable requires a commitment to three solutions: 1) supporting innovation, 2) protecting choice and 3) empowering trade. That’s why Elanco is inviting poultry customers who share our vision for food security to join us in creating joint activities that engage communities in conversation and action.”

Elanco customers interested in developing a volunteer #Feedthe9 event should contact their Elanco representative to discuss the possibilities. Everyone can join the conversation about developing solutions to feed the world by using the hashtag #Feedthe9.

Agribusiness, Elanco, Food

Grant Supports Imperiled Tricolored Blackbird

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

stelprdb1268495The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) teamed with Audubon California and the Western United Dairymen organizations to announce an innovative new conservation project to boost habitat and outreach work for the threatened Tricolored Blackbird. The partnership was announced at an event held at the Sacramento Zoo, which has been collecting donations to help the struggling bird.

“We are excited and energized by this new opportunity to both protect a sensitive species, native to California, and increase sustainability for California’s dairy industry,” said NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “Both the species and the industry have much to gain from this new partnership.”

This project will provide $1.1 million to address factors that challenge dairy farmers and threaten Tricolored Blackbird populations, with the goal of finding a sustainable solution for management of colonies on farms and saving the species from extinction. In addition to using working lands programs and wetland easements to protect and increase habitat, an educational campaign will help increase awareness of farmers’ role in saving the species in the San Joaquin valley.

Western United Dairymen, Dairy Cares and California Farm Bureau are partners on outreach efforts for farmers that will begin next week with workshops to identify and protect the birds.

Tricolored Blackbirds historically nested in vast wetlands of the Central Valley, but as that habitat has declined, the birds have established large nesting colonies in triticale, the plant that dairymen feed their cows. Unfortunately, harvest season coincides with the birds’ nesting season. When these fields are harvested before young birds have fledged, thousands of eggs and nestlings can be lost. In recent years, Audubon California has partnered with the NRCS and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to support farmers who delay harvests to allow the young birds to fledge. This new grant takes those partnerships to a whole new level.

In addition to delayed harvest the new partnership will work to entice the birds to nearby wetland easements where they will be able to nest without creating problems for the farmers. Selected easements will be supplied with water and planted with crops preferred by tricolored blackbirds.

A survey of Tricolored Blackbirds completed last year showed that the bird’s has declined 44 percent since 2011, prompting the California Department of Fish and Game to approve an emergency listing under the state Endangered Species Act earlier this year.

Ag Group, Conservation, dairy farming, NRCS