Florida Dairy Farmers App on Android

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.26.39 PMFlorida Dairy Farmers’ popular SunnyBell’s Florida Dairy Farm Adventure app was initially released for the iPad. But it is now available for Android users. The app is free to download for Android on Google Play, while iPad users can download via iTunes.

Within the app SunnyBell, a little calf who longs to find her role of the dairy farm, teaches users about nutritious milk and where it comes from. Users can also enjoy sing-along “moo”sicals, word-search puzzles, coloring pages and quizzes that help them learn about life on a dairy farm.

A fun, educational romp through a Florida dairy farm, SunnyBell’s Florida Dairy Farm Adventure app is not only great for kids of all ages, but is also an exceptional teaching tool for parents and educators that uses games and songs to improve cognitive abilities in kids.

Ag Group, Apps, Dairy, Youth

New LiLi B Pasteurizer from Bob-White Systems

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.16.05 PMBob-White Systems, Inc., a leading provider of innovative equipment, supplies, technology, and resources for the production of farm-fresh dairy products, has announced the introduction of their newest piece of equipment, the LiLi-B HTST Pasteurizer.

The LiLi-B is a compact, easy-to-use and completely self-contained HTST in-line pasteurizer. The LiLi-B pasteurizes fluid milk at 4GPM, twice the speed of the original LiLi Pasteurizer, and can easily handle higher viscosity liquids such as cream, ice cream mix, and fruit nectar.

The LiLi-B Pasteurizer is economical to operate and extremely gentle on the fluids it pasteurizes. The LiLi-B is designed to support farmers or small business owners who want to safely, gently, and easily pasteurize their products for customers craving great tasting locally produced milk and dairy products.

Vermont Technical College (VTC) is purchasing the first LiLi-B to roll off the assembly line. This innovative pasteurizer will be delivered to VTC’s new 300-acre Norwich dairy farm. There, the LiLi-B will be used for teaching students at the VTC Dairy Learning Center and displayed for farm visitors.

Agribusiness, Dairy

Iowa Bird Flu Sites Depopulated, Clean-Up Underway

John Davis Leave a Comment

ai-updateState and federal officials in Iowa say all sites hit by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Iowa have been depopulated and clean-up is well underway. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and U.S. Department of Agriculture said depopulation has been completed at all 77 premises, with 34 million birds affected. According to USDA, disposal has been completed at 59 premises. Compost, manure and other materials is what still needs to be disposed of from the 18 sites where disposal is still ongoing. All, bio-secure containers that had birds have been disposed of at a landfill or incinerated.

Following disposal, all facilities must be cleaned and then undergo a disinfection process. Disinfection is typically done using heat to increase the temperatures in the building for several days. Other disinfection methods are also being considered.

Following cleaning and disinfection, all sites must remain fallow for 21 days, during which time environmental samplings will be taken to confirm successful cleaning and disinfecting before restocking.

Three sites have completed both the cleaning and disinfection process and are in 21 day fallow period. One turkey site, Calhoun 1, will finish that period this week. An additional turkey site (Pocahontas 4) and a pullet site (Clay 2) are expected to finish in the next two weeks.

The cleaning and disinfection process on turkey sites is anticipated to largely be completed by the end of August. It is expected to continue into August and September for many of the commercial layer operations due to the size and complexity of those buildings and sites.

Following cleaning and disinfection and if all environmental tests are negative, the sites may be allowed to repopulate. However, even if they are allowed to repopulate they will remain under quarantine. After repopulation the flock must undergo at least three tests for avian influenza. Sampling for the test must occur at least seven days apart and all birds sampled must be at least 21 days old.

Officials said they’re hoping to get producers back up and running, especially in time for the Thanksgiving turkey rush.

Listen to the full update here: Iowa Avian Flu Update - July 21, 2015

Agribusiness, Audio, avian flu, Government

Are You Social Media Savvy?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How are the crops in your area looking?”

After reviewing these poll results I feel a glimpse of optimism for the crop outlook. However, it is still raining here in the Midwest and like one poller commented, soybeans are taking a hit. Chuck and Cindy have been talking with growers throughout the corn and soybean belt and it sounds like the weather is becoming more cooperative. However, they have talked to some this week that are just finishing a first planting of their soybeans!

Here are the poll results:

  • Bad – too much moisture – 16%
  • Bad – too dry – 15%
  • Some crops not planted – 8%
  • Ok – could be better – 13%
  • Real good – 38%
  • Not sure – 7%
  • Other – 3%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, Do you consider yourself social media savvy?

The era of social media marketing is upon us. Many across the agriculture community have reaped the benefits and others are making due without. I don’t believe anyone can call themselves a social media expert, because it is always changing. But are you savvy and staying up on the trends, do you need some more training or are you seeing no need to utilize it?


NPPC CEO Recognized For Animal Research Support

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

wpx-15-180-edited2Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council, was given the Distinguished Support of Animal Science Award from the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) at its joint annual meeting with the American Dairy Science Association.

Dierks received the honor for his strong support for increasing agricultural research and education. Among other efforts, ASAS cited Dierks’s involvement in planning, developing and executing a legislative initiative by farm organizations to increase state appropriations for the Iowa State University College of Agriculture at a time when federal funds for the Land Grant System were stagnant. That effort secured over a five-year period more than $10 million annually in new funding for the college.

The NPPC leader also staffed the first pork industry research review, identifying and cataloging swine and pork research efforts being conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Land Grant universities. The work led to formal pork industry policies supporting increased resources for swine and pork research and more formal interaction among producers, USDA administrators and scientists.

“Neil has dedicated much of his career to advancing research and education efforts that aid the animal agriculture industry,” said ASAS CEO Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe. “His work has helped public- and private-sector scientists provide pork producers and others the knowledge they need to produce safe, nutritious, wholesome food while raising animals in a healthful, ethical way.”

Dierks joined NPPC in 1990, serving in a series of senior executive positions, including vice president for research and education; he became CEO in 2002. A graduate of Iowa State University, he serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence, which works to facilitate cooperation and collaboration among and between universities, the pork industry and government to provide pork producers with research, education and information related to pork production and animal well-being.

Ag Group, award, NPPC, Pork, Research, Swine

Pork Groups Urge Senate To Act On COOL

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nppcThe National Pork Producers Council and 34 state pork producer organizations are urging the Senate to take up legislation to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and poultry before Congress takes a month-long recess beginning in early August. The U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law requires meat to be labeled with the country where the animal from which it was derived was born, raised and harvested.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) in May rejected an appeal by the United States of the international trade body’s October 2014 ruling that the COOL provisions on beef and pork discriminate against Canadian and Mexican animals. The WTO decision allows Canada and Mexico to place retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods going into their countries.

In a letter sent to every member of the Senate, NPPC and the state pork associations urged lawmakers “to introduce and pass legislation to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for pork, beef and poultry before the August recess. Without swift repeal, the Congress will imperil U.S. exports and jobs.”

Canada has asked the WTO to authorize $3 billion (Canadian dollars, or about $2.4 billion U.S. dollars) a year in retaliatory tariffs against U.S. imports, and Mexico is seeking $713 million in retaliation.

Some senators have suggested making COOL voluntary, a proposal dismissed by the pork groups. “At this point, if Congress were to change the labeling law, the WTO would not review such changes,” the organizations said in their letter. “The only thing left for the WTO to do in the case is to determine the level of retaliation that Canada and Mexico can extract from the United States, whose day in court is over.”

They pointed out that Canada and Mexico are insisting that they will not remove the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products until there the meat labeling provisions of COOL are repealed.

The House in June approved H.R. 2393 to amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to repeal the meat labeling provisions. NPPC and the state pork associations are urging the Senate to take up that measure.

Ag Group, COOL, Government, NPPC

Dairy Checkoff Launches ‘The Udder Truth’

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

dmiDairy Management Inc.™ (DMI) will launch “The Udder Truth,” a series of videos and edgy content designed to address common consumer myths, today. The Udder Truth is a continuation of the checkoff’s consumer confidence work to help protect and grow public trust in dairy farmers, products and the industry, particularly among millennials.

“This effort is unlike anything the checkoff has ever done before,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy farmer and chairman of DMI. “It’s critical that we tell our story in new ways such as The Udder Truth to capture the interest of the next generation. We need to make sure they know the true story of where their food comes from.”

A three-part video series features farmers debunking common myths such as antibiotics, animal care and “big ag.” The videos will be available at www.DairyGood.org and promoted through social media.

To ensure the videos reach millennials, DMI is partnering with The Onion, a satirical “news” site that is popular with this audience. Onion writers will publish content that interjects humor into the absurdity of dairy myths, and redirects readers to get the truth from dairy farmers at DairyGood.org.

A second checkoff-led consumer confidence initiative, “Acres and Avenues,” will be unveiled this fall to continue the conversation and help consumers reconnect with the farmers who produce our nation’s food.

DMI held a webinar to help spread the word to trade media. Listen to the webinars audio here to learn more about their efforts to work in establishing consumer confidence. Audio from DMI - The Udder Truth Webinar

Dairy checkoff news from July also highlights the video series. Listen here: Dairy Checkoff News

Ag Group, Audio, Dairy, Webinar

Dairy Industry Collaborates to Fight Listeria

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

innovation center for us dairyMembers of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy are ramping up their fight against a formidable food safety opponent – listeria.

The effort is being led by the Innovation Center’s food safety committee, which created a Listeria Research Consortium in January, to identify science-based solutions that further protect consumers.

“Consumers should be confident that the products they eat are safe,” said Tom Hedge, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Quality and Food Safety at Schreiber Foods and chairman of the Innovation Center food safety committee. “Our recently launched research initiative is targeted at identifying additional layers of protection.”

The consortium is funded by the Innovation Center’s member companies. In addition to Schreiber, members include food safety experts from Darigold Inc., Glanbia Foods, Great Lakes Cheese, Hilmar Cheese Company, Land O’Lakes Inc., Leprino Foods, Saputo Inc., Sargento Foods Inc., and the National Dairy Council. Members work with a pre-competitive and collaborative spirit to address the various challenges presented by listeria.

Together, the committee decided that science-based technologies and tools were needed to complement its focus on best practice sharing and pathogen control education. A request for research proposals went out to researchers across the country in June.

All dairy companies, regardless of size, can benefit by having secondary barriers and additional tools to control listeria growth, Hedge said. He is optimistic the research can identify solutions that can make dairy even safer. Collaboration is the key to getting there.


Trimble S1100 Onboard Weighing Solution

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 11.26.37 AMTrimble announced the availability of the Trimble® S1100 onboard weighing system offering farmers and ranchers a high-accuracy solution for measuring and weighing hay bales and other livestock feed handled using a tractor, forklift or skid steer.

With highly accurate weight measurements available to the operator in the cab, farmers can better control the quantity and cost of hay bales and other livestock materials in their operations. The S1100 is another tool within Trimble’s farm management solutions enabling farmers to transform real-time field information into better decisions.

The S1100 calculates weight by measuring hydraulic pressure changes on tractors or skid steers. Payload weights and bucket counts are clearly displayed in real time to the operator in the machine cab. The S1100 is designed as a brand-agnostic, aftermarket solution that is compatible with most makes and models of tractors, forklifts and skid steers. It enables producers to:

– Maximize livestock weight by preventing over/under feeding
– Control feed costs by accurately measuring and managing feedstuffs
– Eliminate waste and overage in feed batching and grain hopper loading operations
– Weigh incoming/outgoing livestock feed for accurate invoicing and record keeping
– Reduce potential overpayments by identifying wet hay bales early

“The big advantage of the S1100 weighing system is being able to consistently measure the feed that the livestock are being fed to prevent over and under feeding,” said Erik Ehn, director of product marketing for Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “In addition, the system can provide accurate weight information to ensure that the producer pays only for the quantity of feed they are actually receiving.”

With the S1100 weighing system, farmers can use up to nine individual attachments including buckets, forks, hay squeezes, soft hands bale handlers and more.

Agribusiness, Feed, Forage, Livestock, Technology

Grazing Lands National Conference

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Grazing LandsThe National Grazing Lands Coalition will host the 6th National Conference on Grazing Lands Dec. 13-16, 2015. An expected 1,200 ranchers, professors, land managers, researchers, public officials, conservationists and students will be in attendance and participate in the exchange of ideas and information on grazing land environmental and economic practices and issues.

“We are excited about bringing this renowned national conference to Texas. Grazing lands make up more than a quarter of the private land acres in the United States and serve many roles from homes for livestock and wildlife to sponges for rainfall, carbon reservoirs, hunting and fishing grounds, and much, much more,” said Bob Drake, National Grazing Lands Coalition chairman emeritus. “Sustainably managing all these roles across 530 million acres of grazing lands in this nation is a huge balancing act.”

The conference will feature experts in fields such as range science, range and pasture management, forage management and animal behavior. Speakers include Dr. Don Ball, professor emeritus, Auburn University; Dr. Garry Lacefield, professor of plant and soil science, Extension forage specialist, University of Kentucky; Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, forage product manager, Barenbrug, USA; and Dr. Rachel Gilker and Kathy Voth, who produce “On Pasture,” an online grazing magazine which translates research and experience into actions graziers can implement on their own operations.

The conference’s unique format will provide grazing information and expert speakers along four “tracks” – Western, Midwestern, Eastern and Dairy. Some of the topics to be highlighted include grazing management, grazing land economics and marketing, public policy, soil health and the ag/urban interface. Session speakers also include everyday ranchers and land managers. This year’s conference will also feature a “Texas Day” on December 15 that will feature sessions on prescribed burning and brush management, along with a Texas Social in the evening.

Ag Group, Land, Livestock