Lawyers Hired In E. coli Outbreak

Chuck Zimmerman

In a story in The Columbian, it’s reported that “A Seattle law firm specializing in food liability lawsuits will represent two families victimized by the recent E. coli outbreak with an eye toward suing the farm that provided the raw milk that sickened their children.”

The story say that testing has confirmed that the 18 people who had been sickened in the outbreak all consumed raw milk from Dee Creek Farm near Woodland. Two children remain hospitalized but their conditions are improving.

Nestle Biggest Ice Cream Company

Chuck Zimmerman

NestleI love ice cream. In fact, it’s my favorite desert. I’ve also been to Vevay, Switzerland, the home of Nestle which just became the largest ice cream company in the world.

Nestlé S.A. yesterday achieved full ownership of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings, an important milestone in the ambitious global ice cream strategy it has pursued for over ten years. This follows the 2003 merger of Nestlé’s US ice cream business with Dreyer’s which resulted in Nestlé owning 67% of the combined company at the time. Nestlé, through the Dreyer’s business, has continued to gain market share in the US throughout the year, reaching 23.2% in 2005 according to ACNielsen data. Taking into account the proposed acquisition of Delta Ice Cream in Greece announced last month, Nestlé has now achieved clear global leadership in ice cream, with a 17.5% world market share.

Free High-Tech Dairy Waste Seminar

Chuck Zimmerman

Agrimass Enviro EnergyAt the upcoming World Ag Expo you can attend a free seminar on the “integration of new technologies to create a system that dramatically reduces environmental concerns and generates profitable byproducts.” The seminar is being offered by Agrimass Enviro Energy.

The seminar will be at 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Hilvers Building at the International Agri-Center. Agrimass Enviro-Energy president Leonard Chapman; Michael McGolden, president and CEO of Coaltec Energy USA; and Conly Hansen, of Andigen will be speaking.

This presentation will help dairymen understand how the integration of today’s technologies can help them comply with increasingly stringent air and water quality regulations and turn animal waste into profitable byproducts including energy and a marketable organic humus.

Admission to the show is $7 per day; a three-day pass is available for $18. For tickets and further information, call 559-688-1751 or 800/999-9186.

New Milk Market Research

Chuck Zimmerman

Do you love or hate milk? That’s apparently one of the questions asked in a new survey that was reported on today on MSNBC. The story says that the study was conducted by BuzzBack Market Research in conjunction with Dairy Management Inc. and Dairy Foods Magazine. Basically they did the study over a 10-day period in early October and 990 adults ages 18-70 years old responded (51% female, 49% male). One of the things they found was that when choosing a particular kind or brand of milk, more than 40% of respondents deem variety and availability very important factors. Additionally:

The survey shows two thirds of respondents drink milk at least three times a week, with 42 percent consuming the product at least once a day. Interestingly, milk seems to be a passion-driven product: You either love it, or hate it.

You can also read more about it here. (PDF File)

Mozzarella To Morocco

Chuck Zimmerman

Cooperatives Working TogetherYou’ve got to love an organization that has “working together” in it’s name. There’s so much “not working together” going on in the world today. However, in the working together department Dow AgroScience and Monsanto made a big announcement today too. But back to Cooperatives Working Together. Here’s their announcement today:

Cooperatives Working Together announced Tuesday that it has accepted a bid from Foremost Farms USA of Baraboo, WI, to export 20 metric tons (approximately 44,000 pounds) of mozzarella cheese to Morocco. CWT will pay the export bonus to the bidder, once completion of the cheese shipment is verified. This is the first export assistance bid accepted by CWT in 2006, and the seventh in the past two months. It is also the first dairy product to be exported by CWT to Morocco, and the first to be exported through Foremost Farms, a member of CWT.

Tour The Australian Dairy Good Industry

Chuck Zimmerman

Australia's Dairy GoodHave you ever wondered about the dairy industry in Australia? Wondered where to even look for information? You might try the web directory for the Australian dairy industry –

As they say on the home page, “Our aim is to provide a high quality industry directory, which serves as your gateway to Australia’s dairy web sites, dairy companies and dairy organisations.”

I wonder if they’d sponsor a U. S. dairy blogger to visit down under and blog his way around the dairy industry. The website is supported by Dairy Australia.

Alto Dairy Promotes Smedema

Chuck Zimmerman

John SmedemaHere’s an announcement about a nice promotion. Congrats to John. You’ve obviously done a great job over the years.

Alto Dairy has named John Smedema Vice President of Operations of the 113-year-old dairy cooperative. Prior to his promotion, Smedema was serving as Alto’s Director of Operations. Smedema is responsible for managing the Alto’s cheese and whey divisions, as well as procurement of non-dairy supplies. He has worked for the cooperative for over 24 years. He knows the process from the ground up working in cheese production and managing Alto’s Packaging Division and the Waupun Cheese Plant. “His leadership and participation in the Senior Management Team has been outstanding,” said Rich Scheuerman, Alto Dairy’s President & CEO. “John and his team have implemented a number of initiatives to keep Alto competitive in the ever-changing dairy industry.”

The Formation of the USAIO

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve been meaning to write about this but had hoped to have more information by now. All I’ve seen is this one release and an endorsement from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. There’s a little more information in this story from the Brownfield Network. So, here’s what I know and now you do too.

Charles Miller, Chairman
United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO)
January 11, 2006

“I am pleased to announce the formation of the United States Animal Identification Organization (USAIO). The USAIO is a nonprofit, independent organization working with every segment of animal industry and animal health authorities to manage the industry-led animal identification movement database as prescribed by the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) plan.

“The first board meeting was held January 10, 2006, where members of the board were elected. The board of directors will be expanded as various industry groups formally adopt the USAIO as their database repository for animal movement data needed for the NAIS. Initial directors are:

Charles Miller, Nicholasville, Ky., cow-calf producer

Rick Stott, Boise, Idaho, beef producer

Lance Kuck, Bassett, Neb., bison producer

“This organization looks forward to working closely with industry and animal health authorities to move the NAIS forward in a positive, proactive way. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been submitted by the USAIO to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to form a strategic partnership and fulfill Secretary Johanns’ directive for the industry to develop the database repository. USAIO looks forward to engaging all the interested parties to provide an effective, efficient, and inexpensive database for the NAIS.”

Here’s part of the statement from the current NCBA President.

“I am pleased to see oversight of the animal movement database resting in such capable and experienced hands. But I am also proud that NCBA has fulfilled the directive we were issued by our members – to bring this database to fruition, then allow an independent consortium to assume management responsibility for it.

“We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles, not to mention critics. But while others only talk about the issue, NCBA rose to the challenge and provided a solution. Our members can all be proud of that. We understand U.S. cattlemen need an animal ID solution today – not several years down the road..”

Jim McAdams, President
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Beverly Hills Cheese Store Awards

Chuck Zimmerman

The Cheese Store of Beverly HillsThe next time you’re in Beverly Hills, CA plan to stop by The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. If you can’t do that you can still shop online. The proprietor is Norbert Wabnig who has just announced the winners of his Second Annual American Artisanal Treasure Awards. The American Artisanal Treasure Awards was created by Wabnig to honor producers of handmade specialty foods across the United States. Each winner will receive a Certificate of Handmade Excellence signed by Wabnig. The winners are:

Best Goat Cheese:
Greenville, Indiana

Best Cow Cheese:
Amish Cheddar
Noble, Pennsylvania

Best Sheep Cheese:
Angel’s Feat
Bingham Hill, Colorado

Best Olive Oil:
Petit Marche
Chef John Folse in Louisiana

Best Condiment:
Dominick’s Marcona Almond Pesto
Beverly Hills, California

Best Bread:
Breadbar’s Baguette + Breadbar’s Olive Loaf
El Segundo, California

Best Sausage:
Mad Mike’s Spicy Chicken Sausage
Fullerton, California

Best Marmalade or Preserve:
Cranberry Fool
Sherman Oaks, California

Best Honey:
Savannah Bee Honey Comb
Savannah, Georgia

Best Sweet:
Poco Dolce Chocolate Tiles
San Francisco, California

The American Artisanal Treasures Awards basket can be purchased at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills or online at The price is $200 not including Overnight Shipping, which will be based on destination. The basket contains all the winners except the Angel Feat sheep cheese, which is unavailable until February 2006.

The Northview Diary – A Farm Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

It’s nice to see someone with a farm blog. In this case it’s the Northview Diary, “Random tales of a small family farm.” The author says she writes a column for the Amsterdam Recorder (New York) called Farm Side.

Feel free to visit and see what you think. While you’re there you can give her some advice on how to deal with a skunk, although I hope that problem has cleared up by now.