NCBA President Reflects on 2017

During his time as president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Craig Uden has had the opportunity to see a lot of cattle country and meet with many producers like himself. He believes the grassroots nature of the organization continues to be one of its most important attributes.

“These challenges that come from these states are the backbone of why we exist,” said Uden. “We bring those challenges, create opportunities and whatever we come up with, we move out as policy for NCBA and I think that’s been key.”

Uden said one goal he had coming into this time of service was to strengthen the partnership between the state organizations and the national leadership, and he feels a sense of accomplishment in that area. He also recognized relationships built with many leaders and policymakers in Washington, D.C. and some wins in the area of regulatory reform. Uden said challenges remain in the area of trade and also with the next Farm Bill discussion on the horizon.

Listen to Jamie’s interview with Craig Uden here: Craig Uden, 2017 NCBA President

Hear Craig’s remarks during the convention here: Craig Uden’s Convention Remarks

2018 Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show Photo Album

Ag Group, AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Beef, Cattle Industry Conference, NCBA, NCBA Convention

#CattleCon18 Kicks Off in Phoenix

jamie johansen

The 2018 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show is under way and cattlemen and women are ready to Blaze a Trail in Phoenix, Arizona. We caught up with NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier to talk about the convention and what draws producers to the event year after year.

“We are going to have a big crowd here in Phoenix. We expect over 7,000 people this week. The reason we have the convention is to have meetings of our governance, our board of directors, our executive committees. They will develop and work on their plan for this fiscal year. But we have a lot of other things that go on during the convention,” Frazier said.

Those other things include the largest trade show in the events history, a rodeo, and cowboy comedy night to name a few. We are hosting and sourcing the Virtual Ag Newsroom for #CattleCon18, which will be updating constantly.

Listen to my chat with Kendal here: Interview with Kendal Frazier, NCBA CEO

2018 Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show Photo Album

Ag Group, AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Beef, Cattle Industry Conference, NCBA, NCBA Convention

Reaction to President Trump’s SOTU

cindy zimmerman

President Donald Trump made no direct mention of agriculture in his first State of the Union address, but he did address important issues for agriculture and rural America including infrastructure and immigration, trade and taxes.

Trump called on Congress to “produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs,” which American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall says would help rural communities. “Infrastructure upgrades tied to our rural communities will help pave the way for economic renewal that is so badly needed,” said Duvall.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson was also pleased with that message. “There is clearly a growing need for significant federal investment in our nation’s roads, rails, broadband, locks and dams. We urge the administration and Congress to move swiftly in developing the promised comprehensive infrastructure package.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was pleased with the president’s address and his commitment to agriculture. “President Trump’s unifying address to the nation recounted this administration’s impressive achievements in its first year, which have strengthened the economy for all Americans, including those who do the important work in the agriculture sector. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already helping workers and will allow agricultural producers to invest more in their operations and their own families,” said Perdue. “This is a president who has rural America and agriculture close to his heart, as his words and deeds clearly demonstrate.”

AFBF, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, NFU, usda

U.S. Poultry & Egg Elects New Leadership

jamie johansen

Tom Hensley, president, Fieldale Farms, Baldwin, Ga., was elected chairman of the board of directors of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) during the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo.

A native of West Virginia, Hensley graduated with a degree in business from Marshall University. Before joining Fieldale Farms, Hensley was a tax manager at Price Waterhouse & Co. He is currently president of Fieldale Farms where he has worked for 40 years, as well as a member of Fieldale Farms Corporation board of directors. In addition, he is past chairman of the National Chicken Council and a life member of the Georgia Poultry Federation. He actively serves on various charitable organization boards, where he has been both active and recognized for his service.

John Prestage, Prestage Farms, Clinton, N.C., was named vice chairman. Greg Hinton, Rose Acre Farms, Seymour, Ind., was named treasurer. Mike Levengood, Perdue Foods, Salisbury, Md., was named secretary. Jerry Moye, Hendrix Genetics, Ontario, Canada, is immediate past chairman.

AgWired Animal, IPPE, Poultry

Animal Ag Bites 1/29

  • The new line of Eggland’s Best Chicken Food and Chick Food features the same wholesome, all-vegetarian formula used by EB egg farmers. The formula consists of premium ingredients rich in 15 vitamins and minerals that helps hens be healthier and of course results in healthier eggs too. Multiple varieties will be available for both chickens and chicks, including a USDA certified organic option made with Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients.
  • Y-TEX Corporation has announced the launch of its new Y-Tags One-Piece Ear Tagging System for beef and dairy cattle. Featuring 100% PureLaser permanent imprinting and the unique Surgi-Tip self-piercing tip, Y-Tags represent a major advancement in one-piece ear tagging technology.
  • Five Novus poultry scientists will present their research January 29-30, 2018 at the International Poultry Scientific Forum in Atlanta, Georgia in advance of the annual International Production and Processing Expo. For presentation details and abstracts visit
  • For the first time in more than 15 years, a horse has become a repeat racing world champion. That horse is Ted Abrams’ homebred Jessies First Down, who is honored as the 2017 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse.
  • CattleFax has introduced its Cow-Calf Survey, sponsored by Ritchie Waterers. Information requested in the survey provides participants and the rest of the industry with valuable information regarding industry benchmarks and trends. By completing the survey and submitting a valid email address, participants will also be entered into a drawing to win a free CattleFax Membership. Access the survey here. The deadline is Feb. 23, 2018.
  • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will be a featured speaker at the 22nd World Meat Congress, taking place May 30-June 1, in Dallas, Texas. Perdue will address participants on Thursday morning, May 31, during the “Global Politics of Food” session.
  • The January Dairy Market Report shows that for all of 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates an average U.S. all-milk price of $17.65/cw. In terms of the extremes of the past 10 years, this will be $4.85 higher than the average price in 2009 and $6.35 lower than during 2014. Find there entire report here.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

Beef Board’s 2017 Annual Report Released

Jamie Johansen

The 2017 Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB) Annual Report provides results of Beef Checkoff programs to the beef producers and importers who invest in this national self-help program.

Included in the report is a letter from CBB Chairman Brett Morris and an overview of revenues and expenditures for fiscal 2017. In addition, you’ll find summaries of results from each Beef Board budget category; these include promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications.

The goal of the publication is to provide financial transparency to beef producers and importers who invest into the checkoff and disclosure about all that was accomplished with the funds received.

“As a producer, I couldn’t have understood all the thought and process that goes into the consideration of every single dollar invested if not for this honor of being your chairman.,” said chairman Morris. “From the long hours invested into the Long Range Plan to the time our checkoff program committees spend scoring and analyzing every authorization request before it is brought before the Operating Committee for funding consideration.

“With every hurdle the checkoff meets, I am reminded of the importance of communication and transparency. I hope this annual report helps any producer who has ever wondered where their checkoff investment is used. We’ve revamped the layout, making the information easier to find and more interesting to read. Please click through and take in all the hard work of everyone who works to make your checkoff a success.”

Ag Group, Beef, Beef Board, Beef Checkoff, Cattle, CBB

2018 Alltech Global Feed Survey Results

jamie johansen

The 2018 Alltech Global Feed Survey estimates that international feed tonnage has exceeded 1 billion metric tons for the second consecutive year, with a total of 1.07 billion metric tons of feed produced in 2017. The growth seen in 2017 was strong at 2.57 percent over last year. The feed industry, valued at $430 billion, has seen 13 percent growth over the past five years, equating to an average of 2.49 percent per annum. This substantial growth is supported by the higher reported consumption of meat, milk and eggs.

The seventh edition of the annual survey is the most comprehensive ever, now covering 144 countries and more than 30,000 feed mills. The results show that China and the U.S. remain the top two countries, producing one-third of all animal feed, and that predominant growth came from the pig, broiler and dairy feed sectors as well as the European and Asia-Pacific regions.

“Now in its seventh year of analysis, the Alltech Global Feed Survey continues to serve as a valuable report on the state of the global feed industry,” said Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer and vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech. “In addition to its insights into the feed industry, it serves as a barometer for agriculture as a whole and oftentimes demonstrates the economic strength of the countries included in the survey.”

The Alltech Global Feed Survey assesses compound feed production and prices through information collected by Alltech’s global sales team and in partnership with local feed associations in the last quarter of 2017. It is intended to serve as an information resource for policymakers, decision-makers and industry stakeholders.

“The Alltech Global Feed Survey provides valuable data and insights on the health of the feed industry and agriculture as a whole,” said Connolly. “As such, we will continue to offer the findings of the feed survey freely in an effort to demonstrate the significance of the animal feed industry in feeding a growing global population, sustainably and affordably.”

We spoke with Aidan to learn more: Interview with Aidan Connolly, Alltech

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, Alltech, Audio, Feed, International, Livestock

Aptimmune Completes $6 Million Series B Funding

jamie johansen

Aptimmune Biologics has completed its Series B funding initiative, raising more than $6 million from several investors. This increases the combined total investment to almost $9 million, generated by the company through three rounds of funding.

“Aptimmune is thrilled to receive strong investor support during this critical time in our development,” said Aaron Gilbertie, Aptimmune CEO. “The Series B funds will provide the required resources to continue commercialization of BarricadeTM, our revolutionary inactivated mucosal vaccine formulation. In addition, the fresh cash infusion will allow us to expand our vaccine platform to other antigens important to veterinarians and swine producers around the globe.”

Participants in the company’s Series B funding include St. Louis Arch Angels, Arsenal Capital Management, Missouri Technology Corporation, Cultivation Capital, The Yield Lab, and various Midwest-based angel investors.

“St. Louis Arch Angels invested in Aptimmune starting in the fall 2016, and since that time we’ve observed the company’s steady progress, technically and commercially,” said Steve Wilhelm with Arch Angels. “We believe in Aptimmune’s mission and team and are pleased to extend our investment in Aptimmune as it changes vaccine paradigms and improves outcomes for customers.”

Arsenal Capital Management (ACM) was one of the first to invest in Aptimmune through its relationship with Common Place Holdings and has participated in all three funding rounds. “We are excited to be part of Aptimmune’s success story and have confidence in Aaron and his team’s ability to execute the 2018 business plan,” said Pete Reinecke, ACM managing director.

In addition, the company is relocating its headquarters and laboratory from Champaign, Ill., to the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park in St. Louis, Mo. Gilbertie says the move was due in large part to the exceptional financial and logistics support the company has received from investors and other businesses in the St. Louis area.

“We had outgrown our original facilities, and after a thorough evaluation of several sites nationwide, we made the decision to relocate our headquarters and laboratory to BRDG Park in St. Louis,” Gilbertie explained.

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Swine

Veal Myths Busted

jamie johansen

Did you know milk-fed veal calves are raised significantly different today? The American Veal Association (AVA) made a goal in 2007 to move completely to group housing over a ten-year period. Since then, AVA members have researched the best facilities to provide optimal care and the financial resources to make it happen by the end of 2017.

I had the opportunity to visit Strauss Veal Feeds and Midwest Veal just last week to see it all for myself. Dr. Marissa Hake, Midwest Veal staff veterinarian, took us through the life of a veal calf and shared all the details of group housing and how good health and well-being are maintained.

“The typical veal animal comes off the farm as a dairy bull calf. It’s about 85-100 pounds and they move into individual pens just like a heifer or dairy beef raiser. They are in those individual pens for about six weeks, which we consider a nursery. We make sure they are healthy and their immune systems are up before we move them into group housing,” Dr. Hake said.

“Going to group housing has definitely been a good move. They can stand up, lay down, turnaround, groom naturally and interact with their friends,” Dr. Hake said.

The pens we saw at a Midwest Veal farm in Northern Indiana housed five calves each. Dr. Hake said it’s just like school. Calves have different personalities. More dominant calves are grouped together giving those shy calves more time at the bunk.

Calves are fed a nutritionally balance milk-formula along with grain and roughage for up to 22 weeks of age and are marketed at 500 pounds. Dr. Hake also stressed that castration, dehorning, tail docking or tethers are not practiced on AVA member farms.

Dr. Hake said they work closely with the dairy industry because they are using a by-product of the industry. The calves on Midwest Veal farms are tagged by the dairy farm. This ensures a secure form of traceability. Total protein sampling and health assessment are also taken and given back to the dairy farm for their records.

I have grown up and still work in the cattle community but on the beef side. I will be very honest, I learned a lot and I know you will too. Listen to my complete chat with Marissa to learn more about the U.S. veal industry and tune in to This Week in Agribusiness for the complete story. Interview with Dr. Marissa Hake, Midwest Veal

AgWired Animal, American Veal Association, Audio, Dairy, Livestock, Meat

Animal Ag Bites 1/22

  • The National Pork Board is seeking the next America’s Pig Farmer of the Year, with applications now open for the annual industry award at The award recognizes a U.S. pork producer who demonstrates excellence in raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles and in sharing his or her story with the public. The application period is open through March 11.
  • Visitors to the Alltech booth at the 2018 Iowa Pork Congress will have the opportunity to hear from industry experts on modern pig production and achieving overall animal health.The booth will be open Wednesday, Jan. 24 and Thursday, Jan. 25 during the event at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Alltech will also sponsor the Producer Recognition Reception during the event on Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 4-6 p.m.
  • The 2018 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) will feature the documentary, Food Evolution, from 8:30 – 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Georgia World Congress Center. The documentary will also be shown from 8 – 9:30 a.m., followed by a 30-minute panel discussion, on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The documentary is free for viewing to all registered IPPE attendees.
  • The U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation has named Barbara Jenkins its executive director. In addition to maintaining her role as vice president of education and student programs for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Jenkins is assuming responsibility of the Foundation’s day-to-day operations.
  • The Animal Agriculture Alliance has announced that five farmers and ranchers can win a free registration to the 2018 Stakeholders Summit through a photo contest again this year. To enter, farmers and ranchers need to share a photo and caption on social media that shows and explains why they believe it is important to protect their roots. Entries must be posted with the hashtag #ProtectYourRoots with the Alliance tagged by February 14. To confirm their entry, contestants need to complete the contest form here. The 2018 Summit, themed “Protect Your Roots” will be held May 3-4 at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va.
  • Applications are being accepted for college scholarships that are awarded by America’s dairy farmers and dairy importers through the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. Eleven scholarships worth $2,500 each will be awarded. Additionally, the NDB awards a $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship to the outstanding scholarship recipient. Applications can be downloaded at or by sending an e-mail to Nate Janssen at Completed applications should be submitted to the National Dairy Board c/o Nate Janssen, Dairy Management Inc., 10255 W. Higgins Road, Suite 900, Rosemont, IL 60018-5616. They must be postmarked no later than April 27.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites