Bayer Commits Funding to 4-H and FFA

carrie muehling

At the 2019 Farm Progress Show, Bayer announced a $6 million gift over the next five years to support 4-H and FFA youth programs.

“It’s no secret that U.S. agriculture is facing a lot of challenges right now, but there is no better time to invest in the future than now,” said Lisa Safarian, Head of Crop Science, North America. “A landscape of completely new opportunities are developing right now in agriculture, and its youth is going to guide this landscape. Tomorrow’s farmers and leaders are going to be instrumental in advancements in digital technologies and data science that will unlock greater value and enable farmers to continue their efforts to sustainably produce food to feed the world.”

Safarian said these groups cultivate the desire and knowledge to advance agriculture through hands-on activities that strengthen STEM skills, engage with communities and develop strong leadership skills.

“Having this kind of a long-term partnership really does give us the chance at 4-H to plan, and to look ahead as we invest in the future of the agriculture and science workforce of our country to help build our economy,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of the National 4-H Council. “We know that our youth are going to play a critical role in the future of agriculture innovation, and 4-H is uniquely prepared to respond to these needs, not only because of our roots in agriculture, but because of our reach and the diversity of the young people we serve today.”

Echoing the thanks to Bayer for this investment in young people was Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA Organization.

“We recognize that in order for us to grow the 8,600 FFA chapters around the country, we have to continue to invest in teachers – both recruitment of teachers as well as retention of those teachers that are already in the classroom. These funds help us do that,” said Poeschl. “We also believe we have to be the voice of agriculture. We have to teach our young people how to be advocates for agriculture. So advocacy and ag literacy – a second pillar of FFA’s strategic plan – will also be a critical part of the investment that we continue to make in our members around the country.”

Listen to the entire news conference here: Bayer Commits to 4-H and FFA News Conference

2019 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

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Rep. Davis Visits Farm Progress Show

carrie muehling

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) spent time Tuesday in his own 13th District, visiting the Farm Progress Show in Decatur.

Davis said the event is a great place to see farmers and agricultural companies alike, and recognized a level of displeasure in the agriculture industry when it comes to trade. He said a vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is critical and would help farmers to get what they’re looking for, and that’s a market for their products.

“It’s crucial for Illinois because 40 percent of our Illinois ag products are exported to Canada and Mexico, and it has given China leverage to walk away from the table,” said Davis. “It could be the lynchpin. It gives America leverage over countries like China who have been trading unfairly, and it gives us a starting point to be able to get a deal on the floor of the House. I think it opens the floodgates.”

Davis also realizes the ethanol industry is unhappy with recent refinery waivers and said those need to be limited to small refiners in the future.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Rep. Davis here: Interview with Rep. Rodney Davis, R-IL 13th District

2019 Farm Progress Show photo album

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Animal Ag Bites 8/26

carrie muehling

  • Seven food writers recently participated in a food and farm excursion to see first-hand how veal calves are raised. The North American Meat Institute, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, hosted the tour which included visiting multiple veal farms in Pennsylvania and Indiana. The writers visited with farmers, animal nutritionists, veterinarians, feed representatives and chefs to learn more about the transformation that has occurred in how veal is raised today.
  • A new book, “What Would Jesus Really Eat? The Biblical Case for Eating Meat,” is now available to help arm farmers, ranchers and others in the animal agriculture industry with the information they need to have informed conversations about the complex subject of religion and eating meat. Copies of the book can be purchased exclusively from the Animal Agriculture Alliance at a discounted rate for a limited time. Additional discounts are available for bulk orders. Click here to order your copy today.
  • September 28 and 29, alpaca business owners throughout North America will celebrate the 12th annual National Alpaca Farm Days. Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. invites you to visit participating member farms and ranches during this fun-filled family event. For a complete list of participating farms and ranches, visit
  • University of Florida scientists believe they can develop new antimicrobials that will benefit dairy cattle and, eventually, humans by treating bacteria that normally resist antiobiotics. KC Jeong, an associate professor of animal sciences at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, plans to use a nearly $460,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to make cattle bacteria less resistant to antibiotics; therefore, more treatable. Humans also may benefit from Jeong’s research because many bacteria in our bodies also resist antibiotic treatments.
  • On July 12-13, 2019, the 8th International Poultry Forum China was held at Hilton Hotel Yantai, Shandong, China. More than 400 industry professionals, entrepreneurs and executives attended the forum representing all areas of the poultry meat and egg industry chain. The International Poultry Forum China was organized by Poultry International China and LyJa Media, in cooperation with WATT Global Media and supported by World’s Poultry Science Association, National Poultry Industry Branch CAAA and Shandong Poultry Industry Association.
  • Marek’s disease—a highly contagious viral disease caused by a herpesvirus—is a constant threat to poultry worldwide. To help improve the control of Marek’s disease, veterinary medical officer John Dunn and his team at the Agricultural Research Service Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory in East Lansing, Michigan, analyzed Marek’s disease genomes to find out which genes are mostly associated with virulence. The study was published recently in the Journal of General Virology.
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US and Japan Shake on Trade Deal

cindy zimmerman

During the G-7 summit in France Sunday, President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shook hands on a deal “in principle” that involves agricultural products.

“(We) have excess corn in various parts of our country, with our farmers, because China did not do what they said they were going to do,” said President Trump. “And Prime Minister Abe, on behalf of Japan, they’re going to be buying all of that corn. And that’s a very big transaction. They’re going to be buying it from our farmers.”

Prime Minister Abe said there is a demand for some agricultural products right now in Japan because they are experiencing some insect pest issues. “And there is a need for us to buy certain amount of agricultural products. And this will be done by the Japanese private sector. That means that Japanese corporations will need to buy additional agricultural products.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the deal “will be a major benefit for beef, pork, wheat, dairy products, wine, ethanol, and a variety of other products.”

Listen to remarks by Pres. Trump, PM Abe (translated), and USTR Lighthizer.

US-Japan trade deal announcement

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GROWMARK Foundation to Provide FFA Jackets

carrie muehling

After the unexpected passing of GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee Mike Builta in April 2019, the GROWMARK Foundation is helping his family to honor his memory by providing FFA jackets to FFA members in Illinois.

“In the weeks and the days after his passing, his wife approached us and asked if the GROWMARK Foundation could become a place to funnel memorial funds through, and also to come up with some ideas of appropriate ways to honor his memory,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Young Producer Specialist.

More than $12,000 was collected in Builta’s memory. Part of that money will go towards providing 25 Illinois FFA members with FFA jackets for the next four years, for a total of 100 jackets. Interested students will fill out an online application including two short answer questions about what the FFA jacket means to them, and the main goal they wish to accomplish as an FFA member.

The application is available at and is due September 30.

Builta was raised on a family farm near Bellflower, Illinois. He was an active FFA member and lifelong supporter of agricultural education. He held GROWMARK System management roles at Christian County Farmers Supply Company in Taylorville, Illinois and GRAINCO FS in Ottawa, Illinois, before becoming GROWMARK vice president of Energy and Logistics in 2018.

Listen to Carrie’s interview with Karen here: Interview with Karen Jones, GROWMARK

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AlzChem Adds to Creamino Team

Carrie Muehling

Kevin Miller is the newest member of the AlzChem Animal Health sales team. Miller will serve as Regional Sales Manager for the USA.

Miller joins AlzChem from Merck Animal Health having previously worked with a number of leading animal health and feed companies. Throughout his career, he has worked with veterinarians, live production managers, distribution and feed mill managers. He has been responsible for identifying and implementing solutions, as well as providing training and technical support.

“Kevin Miller is a great asset that we are adding to our team,” said John Thomson, U.S. Sales Manager for Feed Additives at AlzChem Animal Health. “With Kevin coming on board, we will be able to expand the work with the poultry and swine segments. We want to help everyone realize the true health and economic benefits of improving creatine nutrition. As we continue to expand our AlzChem team, we can provide more assistance than ever before.”

Creamino feed additive was invented by AlzChem in Germany. For more than 25 years, AlzChem has specialized in the production and formulation of creatine for human nutrition. The feed ingredient Creamino presents a significant new opportunity to improve animal health and feed efficiency, providing creatine via the natural processes within an animal. The product is currently sold for broiler and turkey production only. AlzChem is committed to expand the Creamino label in the USA to allow use for swine and other animals in the future.

Miller earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Dairy Science from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture. He will be located in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania and can be reached at and 724-831-0550.

Animal Agriculture, Nutrition

Animal Ag Bites 8/19

carrie muehling

  • The overall economic impact of Wisconsin’s dairy industry is bigger than ever, according to new research conducted by the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Dairy continues to lead Wisconsin agriculture, the new report shows, generating nearly half of Wisconsin’s annual industrial agricultural revenue – and represents 16.4% of the state’s total. To see the full report, visit
  • The American Feed Industry Association is pleased to announce the addition of Lynette Tucker as its meetings and events specialist and Daisy Rodriguez as its meetings and events coordinator.
  • USPOULTRY’s 2019 Environmental Management Seminar provides a unique learning opportunity for professionals concerned with the environmental challenges facing the industry today. Sponsored by USPOULTRY, the seminar will be held Sept. 19-20, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Destin, Florida.
  • Zoetis announced that it will expand its portfolio of products and services for horses with the Stablelab® hand-held, point-of-care diagnostic blood test, which provides veterinarians critical information related to equine inflammation in 10 minutes.
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Ag Media Summit Awards

cindy zimmerman

Ag Media Summit is the annual awards extravaganza for LPC and AAEA.

AAEA, The Agricultural Communicators Network, handed out communications awards for writing, design, mar-com, photography, digital and social media, in addition to the Lifetime Achievement and Andy Markwart Horizon awards. Jim Patrico and Jo Ann Alumbaugh were honored for their career achievements, and Cassie Yontz with Charleston-Orwig received the horizon award.

Click for a list of all AAEA winners in all categories.

The Livestock Publications Council (LPC) honored its members outstanding work and accomplishments as well. Among this year’s LPC honorees was retiring Lyle Orwig, who received the Headliner Award; Todd Donner was inducted into the LPC Hall of Fame, and Cal-Poly professor Scott Vernon received the Distinguished Service Award.

Click here for a list of all LPC winners.

Students and interns were also honored at the event, including the LPC Forrest Bassford award, sponsored by Alltech. The winner this year was Jessica Wesson from the University of Arkansas who received a $2,000 scholarship.

If you go through the photo album you will find plenty of pictures of award winners.

2019 AMS/IFAJ Congress Photo Album

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Animal Ag Bites 8/12

carrie muehling

  • Dairy farmers can now quickly and conveniently analyze their milk component efficiency using a new online calculator from Cargill that can be accessed at
  • U.S. Poultry & Egg Association announces the release of the U.S. poultry industry’s first-ever report quantifying antimicrobial use on broiler chicken and turkey farms. The new report shows dramatic reductions of turkey and broiler chicken antimicrobial use over a five-year time frame.
  • The Animal Agriculture Alliance released a report detailing observations from the Animal Rights National Conference, held July 25 through July 28 in Alexandria, Virginia.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is already accepting internship applications for the Summer 2020 semester. Positions for next summer (mid-May – early August 2020) include a public policy intern and law clerk. The deadline to submit an application for either position is Dec. 6, 2019. To apply for the public policy internship or law clerk position, visit
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council launched a digital campaign focused on the value of grazing. The digital campaign was created to explore key elements of grazing that benefit the environment, rural communities, and local economies across the United States.
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Animal Ag Bites 8/5

carrie muehling

  • Zoetis has signed an agreement with Colorado State University (CSU) to establish a research lab at CSU that will explore the livestock immune system and target new immunotherapies – paving the way for new alternatives to antibiotics in food-producing animals. The new 3,000-square-foot Zoetis Incubator Research Lab will operate at the Research Innovation Center on CSU’s Foothills Campus starting in early 2020.
  • Dr. Sacit “Sarge” Bilgili, interim department head of Auburn University’s Department of Poultry Science, was recently recognized with the 2019 Poultry Science Association Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award, sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, in which researchers found a practical method to reduce litter moisture. A complete report, along with information on other Association research, may be obtained by going to
  • Dairy farmers and allied members of the dairy community will join together to cheer on the Green Bay Packers as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs, Aug. 29 at the annual Packer Tailgate Party which is being coordinated by the Dairy Business Association.
  • Vets Plus, Inc., in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Stout, recently presented the first-ever international conference on the growing use of nutraceuticals to benefit companion and production animal health. The International Conference on Animal Health Nutraceuticals, or ICAHN 2019, was conducted July 17-19 at UW-Stout’s Memorial Student Center conference facility in Menomonie, WI.
  • Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2020 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, brought to you by Purina. The grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – will win a year’s worth of Purina dry dog food and $5,000 in prize money for his or her farmer to offset travel costs to attend the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, Jan. 17-22, 2020. The winner will be recognized at the Farm Dog of the Year award ceremony at the convention. Up to four runners-up will win $1,000 each in prize money.
  • While producers have traditionally participated in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) because it’s the right thing to do, there is sound research that indicates BQA certified producers can benefit financially as well. According to a recent study by the Beef Checkoff-funded BQA program and conducted by Colorado State University, results show a significant premium for calves and feeder cattle sold through video auction markets.
  • The American Feed Industry Association honored Peter Ferket, Ph.D., with the AFIA-Poultry Science Association Poultry Nutrition Award at the PSA Annual Meeting last week in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Jennifer Houston, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, joined President Trump and other NCBA officers at a White House signing ceremony for an agreement that will establish a duty-free quota for high-quality American beef in the European Union.
  • The 2019 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Denver wrapped up with a meeting of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Board of Directors. This year’s meeting saw the rollout of a new NCBA podcast, Cattlemen’s Call, which focuses on the people who make up the beef industry. The podcast is hosted by ag broadcaster Lane Nordlund and can be accessed at
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