Building Trust Key For U.S. Dairy Industry

carrie muehling

Industry representatives at the 2017 World Dairy Expo are focused on building trust with both domestic consumers and those in potential export markets.

Twenty years of farmer funded nutrition research showing that milk fat does not have a negative health impact has resulted in domestic cheese sales hitting an all-time high when it comes to per capita consumption. Consumption of butter is at highest point since 1967. The dairy industry continues to build trust with consumers through its “Undeniably Dairy” campaign.

“Today, trust with the consumer is king. They really want to know more about how their food is produced than ever before,” says Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management, Inc. of the campaign, which is a collaboration with the entire industry, including processors, manufacturers, dairy cooperatives, and dairy producers. “It’s to talk to consumers about how we treat our animals, sustainability, the good things the industry does in the community, and other things about nutrition.”

As U.S. dairy producers continue to produce more milk, the U.S. Dairy Export Council will continue to focus on domestic markets, but also recognizes the need to increase the dairy export market. That also requires trust.

“In order for you to try a product, you have to initially have some level of trust that it’s safe, that it’s nutritious, that it’s delicious,” says Tom Vilsack, CEO and president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). “We have that opportunity to create that sense of trust in countries around the world because we have a safe product, we have one that’s stably produced, we have one that’s sustainably produced, we have one that’s delicious and nutritious. So it’s an opportunity for us to market U.S. dairy.”

Vilsack says emerging markets in places like Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Caribbean will be very important. USDEC also hopes to open up the Canadian market for U.S. dairy products in the near future.

Listen here to Jamie’s interview with Tom Gallagher: Tom Gallagher, DMI

Listen here to Jamie’s interview with Tom Vilsack: Tom Vilsack, U.S. Dairy Export Council

Listen here to a panel discussion featuring Tom Gallagher and Tom Vilsack at the 2017 World Dairy Expo: DMI-USDEC Panel Discussion

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by Coverage of the Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Alltech  Coverage of the Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Hubbard Feeds
Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Dairy, USDEC, World Dairy Expo

Nebraska Farmer Named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year

jamie johansen

Leslie McCuiston, a pig farmer from Columbus, Nebraska, has been named the 2017 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. According to the National Pork Board, the award recognizes a pig farmer who excels at raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles and who connects with today’s consumers about how pork is produced. McCuiston received the highest combined score from a third-party judging panel and online voting

“We are pleased to have Leslie represent America’s pig farmers. She embodies the very best in pig farming,” said Terry O’Neel, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “It’s important that we share with today’s consumers how we raise their food in an ethical and transparent way. Leslie’s interest in sharing her farm’s story, as well as putting a face on today’s pig farming, will help us reach this goal.”

Focusing on people is McCuiston’s main goal as a senior production manager for The Maschhoffs, LLC. McCuiston believes in equipping employees with the right tools to provide the best animal care every day. She oversees 70 employees who care for more than 18,000 sows in central Nebraska and surrounding states.

“For me, pig farming isn’t just a job, it’s a career that I am passionate about,” McCuiston said. “I want to find new, innovative ways to show others what we do in pig farming, explain how much we care and help people understand where their food comes from.”

Ag Group, AgWired Animal, Farming, Pork, Swine

Help Finally on the Way for USDA

cindy zimmerman

Secy Perdue greets McKinney and Censky before Senate hearing (USDA Photo)

Over five months after he took office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue finally has some help on the way.

Yesterday, the Senate voted to formally approved the nominations of Stephen Censky as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Ted McKinney as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan and swift manner to confirm Stephen Censky and Ted McKinney,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Pat Roberts (R-KS). “Secretary Perdue, help is on the way.”

“I commend the Senate for confirming these two experienced, prepared, and capable nominees, who will provide the steady leadership we need at USDA,” said Secretary Perdue in a statement. “We eagerly await their arrival at USDA, and urge the Senate to continue to act on other nominees who are awaiting confirmation.”

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing with both nominees on September 19. Tomorrow, the committee will hold a hearing on the nominations of Greg Ibach of Nebraska to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and Bill Northey of Iowa to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. No hearing has been scheduled yet for Sam Clovis of Iowa, President Trump’s controversial pick for Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, usda

Animal Ag Bites 10/2

kelly marshall

AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

GROWMARK Announces 2018 Essay Contest Theme

carrie muehling

For the past 25 years, GROWMARK has challenged students to think creatively about the future of agriculture and how cooperatives can continue to thrive and contribute to the industry through an annual essay contest.

This year’s 2018 GROWMARK Essay Contest asks students “How can cooperatives demonstrate their value to the next generation of agriculturists?” All high school FFA members in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin can participate.

GROWMARK invites students to submit essays online by November 10, 2017. Winning students in each state receive $500, with the winner’s FFA chapter receiving $300.

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, FFA, GROWMARK

AFBF Marketbasket Survey Shows Food Price Increase

carrie muehling

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s Fall Harvest Marketbasket Survey shows a three percent increase in the total cost of 16 food items over last year’s prices. Foods costing more include bacon, chicken breast, and sliced deli ham, as well as orange juice and flour. The cost of bacon rose the most, up 19 percent to $5.24 per pound. AFBF’s Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton explains the increase.

“Bacon was up significantly because of the lower inventory and higher prices of pork bellies. We saw a rally in wholesale bacon prices this summer and fall which is being reflected at the retail level,” Newton says. “Bacon is a sexy food item in restaurants and everywhere else, creating an inventory decline and thus a price increase.”

Newton says supply and demand for chicken is also tight, driving prices higher. Lower supplies of oranges are impacting the cost of orange juice, which could be further impacted by recent hurricanes in citrus growing areas. The informal quarterly survey did show four items decreasing in price: eggs, ground chuck, bagged salad and potatoes. The survey shows the farmer’s share of the $51.13 marketbasket would be approximately $8.00.

AFBF, AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Animal

Pork Checkoff’s Asian Trade Mission Offers Insight

Jamie Johansen

Three National Pork Board officers and two members of the senior leadership team have returned from an Asian trade mission centered around elevating U.S. pork as the global protein of choice. The team representing the Pork Checkoff toured Japan and China from Sept. 5–16, visiting with pork processors, distributors and retailers, as well as importers and traders.

“Pork is the No. 1 most consumed protein in the world, and that was certainly obvious as we toured parts of Japan and China,” said National Pork Board CEO Bill Even. “It is important for us to see firsthand how pork is raised, processed and promoted in Asia. The Asian customer and consumer culture is unique, and we need to understand the global motivation to purchase U.S. pork.”

The U.S. is facing record-breaking pork production in 2017. The Pork Checkoff is committed to grow demand, not only in the U.S., but also among top customers in Asia. In terms of pork volume (pounds), China/Hong Kong and Japan are currently the No. 2 and 3 export customers of the U.S. Combined volume in these areas is 534,953 metric tons (or about 1.18 billion pounds). In terms of pork value (U.S. dollars), Japan is No. 1 and China/Hong Kong is No. 3, with a combined value of nearly $1.6 billion of exports, both according to the most recent (through July) USMEF data.

“Marketing pork comes down to building long-term relationships and having a safe, dependable, high-quality product that is presented well to the buyer,” said Pork Board President Terry O’Neel, a producer from Friend, Nebraska. “Consumers are encouraged to experience U.S. pork through fun events and social activities.”

Learn more here.

Ag Group, Export, Food, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Trade

Alltech Talks Farm of the Future LIVE

jamie johansen

Alltech hosted a live video event on the future of agriculture and technology with a panel of agribusiness experts discussing and debating their thoughts on the future of the agricultural industry, new consumer demographics and demands, ag technology, big data, nutrigenomics and precision nutrition.

Continue to follow the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #FarmingTheFuture. Great questions were posed, thought-provoking answers were given and all conversation made us start imagining the farm of the future.

Panelist Included:
– Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer and vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech.
– Mary Shelman, former director of Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Program.
– Professor Michael Boehlje, distinguished professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University.
– Dr. Karl Dawson, chief scientific officer at Alltech.

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Alltech, Audio, Consumers, Farming, Food, Technology, Video

Cargill Expands Animal Feed Business

Jamie Johansen

Cargill has closed on its agreement to purchase the assets of Southern States Cooperative’s animal feed business, including seven feed mills and its portfolio of products, brands and customer and supplier relationships. The other segments of Southern States Cooperative’s business – retail, farm supply, energy, and agronomy – are not part of the transaction.

“The combination of CFN U.S. and Southern States Cooperative’s animal feed business will help us grow with customers and best meet their ever-changing needs,” said Mark Lueking, U.S. managing director, Cargill Feed and Nutrition. “We are excited about this growth opportunity to further demonstrate our commitment to the U.S. animal feed industry.”

The acquisition strengthens Cargill’s distribution and go-to-market capabilities in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S., and provides a pathway for continued growth across the region. In addition to the acquisition, Cargill has completed a long-term supply agreement with Southern States for Cargill to supply its retail stores with Southern States branded feed.

“We believe that our combined business will provide unique benefits to our members and customers,” said Jeff Stroburg, President and CEO of Southern States Cooperative, Inc. “We’ve brought together two best-in-class feed companies to develop solutions to meet their needs. We look forward to growing the Southern States feed business with Cargill as our partner.”

Agribusiness, Cargill, Feed, Nutrition

SMART Farmer Emily Buck

cindy zimmerman

Emily Buck farms with her husband and daughter near Columbus, Ohio where they raise soybeans, corn and wheat and also have a small sheep operation. Her main role on the farm, beyond helping with crops, is to manage the 40 ewes.

Off the farm, Emily is a university researcher and professor of agricultural communication at Ohio State University, which gives her the opportunity to also raise future agricultural advocates. In addition, she serves as one of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) Faces of Farming & Ranching.

Learn more about Emily in this edition – SMART Farmer Podcast with Emily Buck, Ohio farmer

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Learn more about USFRA and SMART Farm

AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Audio, SMART Farmer, USFRA