HATCH Extension Following Donation of 100K+ Eggs

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 8.42.23 AMHATCH, which is providing a new way consumers, food stores and farmers can work together to make eggs available to undernourished people, will extend its program with The Kroger Co. and Rose Acre Farms through 2015. This announcement was made after successfully providing 100,039 eggs to more than 8,000 families in Indiana during a 10-week pilot program.

“HATCH is becoming a sustainable model for how people can work together locally to fight undernourishment and make a real, tangible difference in their communities,” said Bert Payne, operations leader for HATCH for Hunger at Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company. “The beauty of HATCH is that it is giving more people access to nutrient-rich eggs, even in the face of today’s higher prices due to reduced U.S. egg supplies.”

“HATCH is gratitude, and gratitude is the smiles and thanks of the people receiving the eggs,” said Cindy Hubert, president and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank. “One mother who received HATCH eggs told me, ‘the HATCH program gave us the opportunity to have healthy food for breakfast instead of just eating junk food … it makes a difference.’ This is what HATCH is all about.”

“Rose Acre Farms is proud to partner with Elanco and Kroger on a project as critical as hunger,” said Amanda Jackson, director of sales, Rose Acre Farms. “HATCH has been a tremendous success due to the support of our local communities and Kroger shoppers. We recognize that nutritious foods are often hard to obtain for food-insecure families and that America’s food banks find it incredibly difficult to acquire high-quality proteins. We are thrilled to meet this need by providing healthy, nutrient-dense eggs that will provide the protein and essential vitamins and minerals that are crucial for muscle, brain and eye development.”

“We are extremely proud of the generosity of Kroger customers and associates who rallied behind HATCH to help neighbors put nutritious food on their plates,” said John Elliott, manager of public affairs, The Kroger Co. “That’s why we are thrilled to announce the extension of HATCH in 65 Central Indiana stores through Dec. 31. Like our long-standing Perishable Donation Partnership® — which has donated more than 195 million meals to community food banks — HATCH is another way we can work together to combat undernourishment.”

Ag Group, Eggs, Elanco, Food

No New Bird Flu Cases Last Week

John Davis Leave a Comment

ai-updateTime for a little good news on the bird flu outbreak in the Midwest. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said there have been no new probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the state this week, and the last positive flock was detected on June 16.

Infected turkey flocks have been depopulated and are currently being composted. Clean and disinfection is taking place. Environmental samplings of all sites will take place to confirm successful cleaning and disinfecting before restocking. IDALS and USDA officials have been meeting with affected farmers regularly to share information and answer questions.

All the commercial laying and pullet facilities have been depopulated and cleaning and disinfection of facilities is ongoing. Disposal of affected birds has been completed except for the layer site announced last week. That site had been doing on-site burial of affected birds, but due to the recent wet weather, burial has been stopped. The birds are now being placed in bio-secure boxes and will be disposed of via incineration or at the landfill in Southwest Iowa. Disposal of other materials from affected sites is ongoing.

To-date, over 1000 bio-secure boxes have been disposed of via incineration or at one of the two currently approved landfills. Approximately 250 are still in need of disposal. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contractor Clean Harbors is moving the materials. All trucks are cleaned and disinfected before the leave an infected premise and before leaving a disposal site.

USDA has more than 2,300 staff and contractors helping respond to the avian influenza situation in Iowa. A USDA Incident Management Team (IMT) has been operating out of Ames and overseeing USDA’s activities. More than 300 state employees also have joined the response.

Agribusiness, avian flu, Poultry

New At the Meeting Swine Health Series on PEDv

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

atm-largerThe latest At The Meeting (ATM) with the Morrison Group audio program provides an update on developments in porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) cases reported this spring, effective control steps and immunology in the last year. The ATM program on PEDv features disease, research and practical swine health information from leading veterinary experts that swine veterinarians and producers can use to make informed decisions for their farms.

In part one of the three-part audio program, Dr. Morrison talks with Gordon Spronk, DVM, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, and Tom Wetzell, DVM, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), about ongoing swine health monitoring and case reporting programs in place for PEDv. This segment also provides insights that can be gained by looking at recent and historical PEDv case data and the impact the disease has had on production.

In the second segment, Jeremy Pittman, DVM, MSDABVP, Murphy Brown, joins the group to discuss the recent rebreaks of PEDv. He says most of the breaks are likely due to virus circulating in grow-finish barns, resulting in less mortality than initial outbreaks from 2013-14.

In the third segment, the panel of swine veterinarians, including Linda Saif, PhD, The Ohio State University, discuss what’s been learned regarding potential for protective immunity to be transferred from sow to pig, type of immunity provided and insights into the pig’s immune response to PEDv exposure. The group also discusses duration of immunity, types of vaccines and different administration routes that might be more effective in immunizing sows and pigs against PEDv.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim, PED, Swine

Animal Ag Bites

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment


  • Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph, was named the recipient of the 14th annual Equine Industry Vision Award. Zoetis, in partnership with American Horse Publications (AHP), presented the award to Ecker at the AHP Seminar in San Antonio, Texas.
  • The Mexican Angus Association is hosting the World Angus Secretariat in mid-October that promises to feature the beautiful Mexican countryside alongside Angus cattle. The organization of more than 20 Angus breed associations worldwide, will conduct its biennial meeting to discuss the latest breed information and technological advances, as well as tour some of the region’s locales and, of course, prized breeding stock.
  • Calling all veterinarians: Do you have questions about Veterinary Feed Directive? Elanco & Feedstuffs are hosting a free webinar on June 30th from 2-4pm ET. The webinar will provide a better understanding Veterinary Feed Directive rules from the veterinarian’s perspective
Animal Bites

Steak Competition Returns to American Royal

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

American royalThe fourth annual American Royal Steak Competition Winner will be announced at the American Royal Association’s 2015 TableSteaks Celebration on October 22, 2015. Beef producers from across the nation are invited to submit rib eye steaks to compete for the best tasting steak.

“Three years ago marked the first time for this event at the American Royal,” says Bob Petersen, President & CEO of the American Royal. “Most traditional cooking contests are like the American Royal World Series of Barbecue® – they are mainly about preparation. This competition is about recognizing America’s best steak.”

Each steak will be prepared in an identical manner at K-State University Olathe Campus. Points will be assigned for flavor, juiciness, and texture. The judging will take place early October and the winners will be honored at the American Royal 2015 TableSteaks Celebration on October 22.

“This is a great way for beef producers from all over the country to be judged purely on the taste of their steak. Every entry is treated equally and judged according to the same criteria. We are excited to
have another year of this event taking place through the American Royal,” said Todd Graves, cattle producer and partner in the law firm of Graves Garrett LLC.

It is hard to imagine a more appropriate place to hold a steak competition than the American Royal where 116 years ago the Country’s first exposition and sale of purebred cattle took place.

Agribusiness, Events, Meat

Up to $10 Million Available for Federal Purchase of Lamb

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

asi1The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) requested a Section 32 lamb purchase in an effort to strengthen a market that has faltered since late 2014, and to prompt stronger prices for lambs at the farm and ranch gate. In response to that the USDA opened a bid process for 640,000 pounds of lamb roast. ASI sent out the below release to further explain the process.

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Administrator Anne Alonzo announced on May 22 the agency’s intent to make available up to $10 million to purchase lamb products for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks. The Bid Invitation was issued on Wednesday, June 24, for 640,000 pounds of lamb leg roast, bone-in and boneless. Bids must be submitted by July 13 with acceptances being announced by midnight, July 17.

Declining prices justify this request as live, slaughter lamb prices at auction were about $20 per hundred weight lower during the first quarter of 2015 compared to a year ago.

In addition, the strength of the U.S. dollar is contributing to a higher volume of imported lamb and contributing to price pressure on the U.S. market. The magnitude of imports from Australia alone was up 4 percent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2015.

“ASI discussed the USDA commodity purchase program option with key lamb-processing companies and they are fully supportive of the request but strongly encourage that all expediency be undertaken due to the back-up of slaughter lambs in the feeding system,” concluded Pfliger.

The Section 32 purchase program makes funds available to the Secretary of Agriculture to purchase surplus food. The program is funded by tariffs collected on imported food and is designed to remove price-depressing surplus product from the market, thus supporting farm-gate prices. All lamb-product purchased through this process must be certified as American lamb.

Ag Group, Lamb, Meat, Sheep

Recent Bird Flu Epidemic Calls for Increased Biosecurity

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Shaw-DanDan Shaw, a professor in the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and a specialist in poultry disease, says outbreaks of high path avian influenza point to the need for more awareness and enhanced practice of biosecurity at poultry farms around the country. The University of Missouri New Bureau sent out the below release to provide an experts opinion on this hot issue impacting the poultry industry.

“This strain of avian influenza, or H2N5, is very difficult to catch before it begins killing birds in large numbers,” Shaw said. “During previous past outbreaks, signs of infection, including depressed appetites, lethargy and ulceration of bare skin on infected birds, have allowed producers time to quarantine individual production houses. This strain gives little warning before birds begin dying, making it very difficult to stop the disease from spreading throughout whole farms. Within just a couple of days, poultry farms can go from healthy to completely devastated.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 1.51.26 PMShaw says that experts believe this current outbreak of avian influenza is spread by waterfowl migrating from southern wintering grounds to nesting areas in Canada as the seasonal weather changes. Waterfowl, such as ducks, may be infected but do not develop severe disease. While infected, they can shed the virus in their droppings. The infected fowl stop at ponds and lakes which may be near poultry operations. It also has been theorized that infected droppings may contaminate chaff from grain fields where the birds have been feeding. This contaminated chaff can blow into nearby poultry farms and carry the virus. Shaw has suggestions for poultry farmers to help protect their flocks and prevent the spread of the disease.

Read More

Ag Group, Animal Health, avian flu, Biosecurity, Poultry

Pinkeye Management Tips from AgriLabs

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

AgrilabsAgriLabs® offers management tips to minimize the impact of pinkeye and face flies during these hot summer months.

“Once pinkeye begins to spread through a herd, it’s very hard to contain and control,” said Dr. Roger Winter, technical services veterinarian, AgriLabs. “That’s why preparing in advance for pinkeye is the best plan for a healthier herd and better weight gains at the end of the season.”

When developing an annual pinkeye plan, there are key steps that should be considered part of an overall plan: protect the herd before a pinkeye outbreak even occurs, maintain a proper diet and environment, and reduce fly population. Carefully following some of the tips below will help lead to an overall healthier herd.

Prevent with vaccines — Calves are most at risk and should be vaccinated along with cows. Vaccine protocols need to be started six to eight weeks before pinkeye cases typically begin within the herd. Several vaccines are available, which can make it difficult when selecting the best option for a herd. When evaluating pinkeye vaccines, a producer will want to make sure it has proven efficacy and that it’s safe. It’s best to look for a company that has a long track record of safely resolving pinkeye.

Manage the environment and provide proper nutrition — Eye irritation can be caused by tall grasses, so it’s best to keep pastures mowed. Also, as with many diseases, pinkeye outcomes can be influenced by nutritional imbalances, so it’s key to provide proper amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Control with insecticides — A good fly control program is also essential. While there are many products available, it comes down to finding the right fly control tools that best fit an operation’s needs in terms of product and ease of application.

AgriLabs has a low-stress, no-confining approach producers can use to combat pink eye. VetGun™ uses CO2 power to project a precise dosage of AiM-L VetCap® containing an EPA-approved topical insecticide, Lambda Cyhalothrin, to treat the animal. The gelatin capsule bursts upon impact, allowing the topically applied insecticide to go to work immediately, an appreciated benefit of the AiM-L VetCap®.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Cattle

OIE Approves Registration of BOVIGAM TB Kit

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ThermoFisherScientific_logo_cmykThe World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) approved the registration of the BOVIGAMTM TB Kit from Thermo Fisher Scientific in the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals 2015. BOVIGAMTM is the only bovine tuberculosis (bTB), Interferon-γ in vitro assay that is OIE-registered and is validated for use in cattle, goat, buffalo and sheep.

“The OIE registration of BOVIGAM is a major step toward a world free of bTB,” said Martin Guillet, global head and general manager of animal health at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “It will help make bTB programs worldwide more efficient and better accepted, in line with the Thermo Fisher Scientific’s mission of enabling our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”

According to Guillet, the eradication of bTB is a complex undertaking, and the flexible application of testing schemes will help avoid unnecessary culling, lengthy farm closures and will help reduce the occurrence of bovine TB worldwide. Guillet says this ultimately will save time and money and will increase farmer support for TB control programs.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Disease

Comments from COOL Hearing

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.34.10 AMThis morning U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, held a hearing on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and trade retaliation. He believes “retaliation is coming, and now is the time to act.”

“If you take anything away from my remarks today, I hope it is this: facts are stubborn things, and whether you support COOL or oppose COOL, the fact is retaliation is coming. And this committee has to fix it,” Chairman Roberts said.

“I want to emphasize that I understand completely the concerns of some members of this committee. I have encouraged alternatives to be brought forth. But as Chairman of this Committee I must emphasize to my colleagues and all of agriculture that retaliation is fast approaching and the responsibility sits squarely on our shoulders to avoid it.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.44.39 AMYesterday, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Committee released a draft proposal that would remove beef and pork mandatory labeling provisions under COOL and put in its place a completely voluntary Product of the U.S. label.

“It is my hope that this simple, WTO-consistent approach to addressing this dispute will help us find a solution that benefits American consumers and agriculture – while also finding a pathway forward between the United States and our neighbors to the north and south.”

Her complete comments from today’s hearing can be found here.

For witness info, testimonies, and to watch the hearing, click here.

Ag Group, COOL, Government