Animal Ag Bites 11/4

carrie muehlingAgWired Animal, Animal Bites

  • Support from dairy checkoff food scientists has helped McDonald’s USA produce a reduced-sugar, low-fat chocolate milk that will be unveiled nationwide in January. The new formulation has 25 percent less sugar than McDonald’s previous chocolate milk and is no longer a fat-free product. Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff, has had a partnership with McDonald’s since 2009. DMI provided on-site support from food scientists and other resources and worked closely with the McDonald’s team to create the final product.
  • About 85 percent of U.S. beef today comes from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified farmers or ranchers. But do American consumers know that? Just as important, do they know what BQA is – and what it stands for? Those are the kinds of questions a new Beef Checkoff-funded campaign from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a Beef Checkoff contractor, is addressing. Its goal is to bridge the gap between what the industry is doing to produce high-quality beef in a humane, environmentally friendly way, and what consumers know about those efforts.
  • Four finalists have been announced for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s seventh annual National Anthem Singing Contest. The winner will receive a trip to the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show Feb. 5-7 to perform the Star Spangled Banner at the event’s Opening General Session Feb. 5 as well as the Friday Night NCBA PBR Invitational Event Feb. 7. The videos of the top four finalists are available for voting on the convention website at

Deer Hunting and Feral Hogs

Chuck ZimmermanHunting

Can-Am in the WoodsOpening day for the 2019 Georgia firearms deer season was wet. I mean it rained all day. But the southeast needed that rain in a big way and it did not stop deer activity. The next day we had sunshine as you can see in this photo of our Can-Am Defender from my stand. Right after that I harvested a spike buck. Opening day I harvested two does. So I’ve got a lot of venison I’ll be freezing this week while taking a large portion to a local processor for summer sausage and hamburger.

Can-Am with PigsNow let’s talk feral hogs. I shared a photo from one of our trail cams recently and am happy to report that my brother Paul deleted their number by seven on opening day. Here’s a Can-Am Defender load of five of them. It sounds like a lot but we’ve got one group of them numbering almost forty and another that it is a little less. For the first time in the years I’ve been hunting in Georgia I’m seeing hogs on the sides of the roads that have been hit by cars. I counted five in just one hour long drive one morning. They are a serious problem. We’re doing our part but it’s not enough.

Georgia’s season continues through mid-January so the Crystal Pig Hunt Club members will be out several times trying to reduce hog numbers and hopefully seeing some of the large bucks which are showing up on our cameras. If you hunt deer let me know how things are going for you. I’ve seen some great photos on social media already which include children who are getting their first opportunity to hunt with Mom or Dad.

Animal Ag Bites 10/28

carrie muehlingAgWired Animal, Animal Bites

  • During the NCBA Board Meeting this past August, the NCBA officers announced a scholarship honoring former NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier had been established at Kansas State University. If you are interested in donating to this scholarship fund to honor Kendal and his dedicated career to the beef industry, you can give via online donations at or contact Emilie Fink, Senior Director of Development, K-State at (785) 775-2075 or
  • The Pork Checkoff’s board of directors is accepting applications through Nov. 1 to fill five three-year terms. State pork producer associations, farm organizations or individuals who pay the Pork Checkoff, including pig farmers and pork importers, may submit an application.
  • A new cutting-edge video series from the National Pork Board creates opportunities for farmers and others involved in pork production to share with consumers a firsthand view inside today’s modern farms.
  • After debuting nearly 15 years ago, the Pork Checkoff’s Operation Main Street program has reached a major milestone – sharing facts about pigs and pork to 10,000 audiences. Wesley Lyons, a veterinarian from Sycamore, Illinois, made the historic presentation to nurses at the Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Fall Forum in Rockford, Illinois.

Animal Ag Bites 10/21

carrie muehlingAgWired Animal, Animal Bites

  • A new environmental study has found that pig farms are generating less manure nutrient content associated with odor. Data gathered from more than 106,000 samples at 182 North Carolina farms shows significant reductions in ammonia levels and manure nutrient content. The improvements are attributed to gains in feed efficiency, which means it takes less feed to raise a pig.
  • The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) and the National FFA Organization (FFA) have established a partnership to cooperate on agricultural education programs in the area of animal food production.
  • The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s College Aggies Online Scholarship Competition is in full swing. More than 300 students and 20 collegiate clubs are competing for $21,000 in scholarships as they communicate about agriculture and food online and at in-person events. To support students competing in this year’s CAO competition, search for the hashtag #CAO19 on social media and like, comment and share the posts. So far, students have earned 2.3 million impressions on social media since the competition kicked off on September 16. CAO 2019 runs through November 16, 2019.
  • Honeysuckle White® and Shady Brook Farms® turkey are the presenting sponsors of Friendsgiving® for No Kid Hungry, a program encouraging and empowering consumers to give back during their Friendsgiving gatherings. Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry will provide opportunities for consumers to provide for kids who live with hunger, while giving thanks and celebrating in the company of friends. In three easy steps, consumers can sign up to have their Friendsgiving celebration benefit No Kid Hungry and start planning their gathering via online inspiration at or

President Trump Addresses Farmers Through NAFB

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, NAFB

The National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) worked with officials from the White House to share remarks from President Donald J. Trump that he recorded from the Oval Office to the nation’s farmers, ranchers, and agriculture community through NAFB broadcast members.

In his remarks, the President talked about a number of different topics important to the agricultural community as harvest is underway around the country. He expresses his deep appreciation for farmers and ranchers and makes note of recent actions he has taken to help them, including trade efforts, tax cuts, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, ethanol, disaster assistance, and more.

Click the player below to hear President Trump comments from NAFB.
President Trump addresses farmers through NAFB

Animal Ag Bites 10/14

carrie muehlingAgWired Animal, Animal Bites

  • Cattle producer record-keeping can be improved and simplified through the Redbook, a pocket-sized recordkeeping tool from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Redbooks can be purchased for $7.00 each, plus shipping and handling. To order, visit
  • The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, through Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff, annually awards $2,500 scholarships to 11 students. In addition, the NDB awards a $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship to one outstanding recipient. Kathryn Lyne Gardner, a University of Arkansas student who is double majoring in agribusiness and agricultural communication with a minor in agricultural leadership, has earned the 2019-20 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Students earning $2,500 scholarships are: Sanne de Bruijn (South Dakota State University), Ariel Graveen (University of Wisconsin-River Falls), Cynthia Hamlett (Iowa State University), Theodore Jacoby (South Dakota State University), Gloria Koester (Purdue University), Ashley Maus (South Dakota State University), Brianna McBride (Iowa State University), Jessica Mehre (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jessica Schmitt (Iowa State University), Margaret Socha (South Dakota State University) and Collin Weltzien (University of Wisconsin-River Falls).
  • The 2019 World Forage Analysis Superbowl winners were announced during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin where FS InVISION DairySelect and W-L Alfalfa had outstanding performances.
  • Two members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association joined President Trump at a White House event spotlighting past federal overreach by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. During the event, the President signed two Executive Orders that will provide more clarity and transparency to often-daunting and complicated federal regulatory processes.
  • A new course on Organic Dairy Compliance is now available in the free, online Organic Integrity Learning Center. The course provides an overview of the USDA organic livestock standards with a special focus on dairy operations.
  • A seasonal flu vaccination is a public health recommendation and part of the One Health approach to protect people, pigs and the global environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated annually against seasonal influenza.
  • Harriet Hageman, Senior Litigation Counsel with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Casper, Wyoming, representing the Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and four ranchers from Wyoming and South Dakota, to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s effort to eliminate all animal identification options other than radio frequency identification (RFID) devices and premises registration for adult cattle and bison moving interstate.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Foundation is now accepting applications for 2020-2021 beef industry scholarships sponsored by CME Group. Ten scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded to outstanding students pursuing careers in the beef industry. Online applications should be submitted by Nov. 8, 2019 at midnight Central Time. To apply, or learn more about the scholarship, click here.
  • After nearly two years of planning, development and implementation of a cattle disease traceability infrastructure, CattleTrace is inviting all beef industry stakeholders to attend the first-ever CattleTrace Industry Symposium on November 22, 2019, in Manhattan, KS, at the Kansas State University Student Union.
  • The National Pork Producers Council have unveiled a commemorative painting in honor of Kay Christian, a highly respected pork producer who contributed to the industry in countless ways before her passing on Nov. 4, 2018.
  • Novus International, Inc. announced that François Fraudeau plans to retire as President and Chief Executive Officer after 28 successful years with the company. Novus’s Board of Directors will hire a former Novus Executive, Dan Meagher, to be the next President and CEO, effective April 1st, 2020.
  • Global animal health company Huvepharma®, after receiving FDA approval in July 2019 for Monovet® 90, the first-available generic monensin in the United States, continues to expand the list of approved feed combinations with which Monovet can be fed.

Animal Ag Bites 9/30

carrie muehlingAgWired Animal, Animal Bites

  • As of September 1, there were 77.7 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 3 percent from September 2018, and up 3 percent from June 1, 2019, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) wants to set the record straight when it comes to recent claims by the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM). NCBA CEO Colin Woodall assures members of the organization that NCBA does not use checkoff funds for lobbying or policy work. Read his complete response here.
  • The Meat Industry Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards Ceremony is coming up January 27, 2020. Co-located with the International Production & Processing Expo, this social event is the perfect way to kick off the week in Atlanta. Register today to help honor the Class of 2019!
  • Randy and Judy Acker of Acker Farms in Middleton, Wisconsin and Kyle Levetzow of Model Dairy Farms in Dodgeville, Wisconsin both will compete on Tuesday, October 2, in the standard corn silage category for the Annual World Forages Analysis Superbowl. Both farms work with Insight FS and submitted samples using InVISION DairySelect FS 61SX1 Hybrid.

ZimmCast 626 – Meet the new Executive Director of the LPC

Cindy ZimmermanZimmCast

In this week’s program let’s meet Lindsay Graber Runft, Executive Director, Livestock Publications Council, pictured on the left with the LPC Board at the 2019 Ag Media Summit. Lindsay started with LPC in July this year and I met her at the AMS.

Livestock Publications Council BoardLindsay has a solid background in livestock production and association management. As an example, she served as director of marketing and communications of the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) from 2013 to 2018. She has been principal of Prairie Public Relations since 2018.

“I am incredibly excited, and honored, to accept the role of Executive Director for Livestock Publications Council,” Runft said. “It will be a privilege to further LPC’s purpose of serving the livestock communications industry through collaborative work with Board leadership and membership service.”

You can learn more about Lindsay in the program. I’m looking forward to working with her in the future as she takes over the helm from retired long time friend and director of the LPC, Diane Johnson.

I hope to see you there. Thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 626 - New LPC Executive Director
Subscribe to the ZimmCast by clicking here.

Ag Groups Cheer Japan Agreement

Cindy ZimmermanNCBA, NPPC, Pork, Trade

Representatives for farmer and rancher organizations were present for a meeting with President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe in New York City as the two signed a trade deal Wednesday worth billions for U.S. agricultural producers.

Under the market access agreement, Japan will open the market to approximately $7 billion in American agricultural exports, eliminating or significantly lowering tariffs for U.S. beef, pork, poultry, wheat, cheese, wine, certain nuts and berries, cherries, ethanol, and more. “So it’s a tremendous trade deal. It’s a very big trade deal,” said President Trump.

Agricultural group leaders in attendance were invited by President Trump to make comments. While National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston was busy testifying about the current state of the cattle industry before the Senate Agriculture Committee, President-Elect Marty Smith of Florida was speaking to the president on behalf of beef producers. “We asked for a level playing field, and you delivered that to us, and we thank you for that,” said Smith. “And it’s a great day too for, we think, for the Japanese people. This will enable them to buy more American beef, more American agricultural products.”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said that farmers and ranchers are thankful for the new agreement “and what we need in the future is more agreements like this all around the world.”

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President David Herring of North Carolina, said the agreement provides new opportunities for the 60,000 pork producers across the country. “We’ve seen market share declines in Japan, historically our largest value export market, since the start of the year when international competitors gained more favorable access through new trade agreements. Once implemented, the agreement signed today puts U.S. pork back on a level playing field with our competitors in Japan.”

The Japanese Parliament is expected to approve the agreement later this fall and it could be implemented as early as Jan. 1, 2020.

Listen to these comments and those from others present at the meeting below – watch it on the White House YouTube channel.
President Trump, farmers and ranchers on Japan deal

White House transcript

Animal Ag Bites 9/23

Cindy ZimmermanAnimal Agriculture

  • South Korea has now joined eight other Asian countries in becoming positive for African swine fever.
  • Attendee registration and general housing for the 2020 International Production & Processing Expo is now open. The IPPE trade show floor continues to grow with more than 545,500 square feet of exhibit space and 1,148 exhibitors. Register online and receive a discounted price of $75 through Jan. 10, 2020. Beginning Jan. 11, the registration rate will increase to $125.
  • A new study conducted by veterinary researchers at Kansas State University sheds new light on a threatening swine disease: African swine fever. The research team, headed by Megan Niederwerder, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, looks at the degradation of African swine fever virus in animal feed ingredients to understand the potential for disease spread through contaminated feed.
  • U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Michael Bennet, along with Mike Braun (R-IN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), introduced the Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act, which will provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with clear authority to stop water buffalo meat and ingredients from being marketed only as “buffalo” in the U.S. marketplace.
  • Lely North America is proud to present the Future of Dairy Scholarship Program for the fourth year. Five qualified students residing in either Canada or the United States are chosen annually to receive a one-year, $1,000 scholarship.
  • Complementing his many and varied achievements over the course of an extremely successful career, Dr. Karl Dawson, chairman of Alltech’s scientific advisory board, has been inducted into the Animal and Food Sciences Hall of Fame in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky. The annual award, the highest that the department can bestow, recognizes someone who has made outstanding contributions to the department and to Kentucky animal agriculture.
  • The ninth annual National Dairy Council New Product Competition seeks the next innovative dairy product from college students across the United States and Canada. The competition provides a platform for students to bring their knowledge and expertise to dairy product innovation that aligns with current industry and consumer insights. The 2020 competition seeks to uncover ways that connect dairy to consumers’ desire to eat more plant-based foods.
  • The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has awarded the 2019 Clean Water Award to Pilgrim’s in Sanford, N.C., and Tyson Foods in Seguin, Texas. The award is presented annually to poultry facilities that go above and beyond in their commitment to sustainable wastewater treatment and water reuse.
  • New and emerging mycotoxins can now be analyzed by the Alltech 37+® Laboratory. In total, five new mycotoxins have been added to the testing panel, bringing the total number of detectable mycotoxins to 54. These new additions further increase the understanding of mycotoxin occurrence and the potential risk to animal performance.
  • Visit Zoetis at the World Dairy Expo for a chance to win a grand prize Snap-on® tool chest, first prize Traeger® grill, or second prize $500 Cabela’s® gift card.
  • The National Pork Producers Council applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service for finalizing its New Swine Inspection System.
  • The first FDA-approved generic monensin – available to U.S. beef, dairy, and goat producers as Monovet®90 from global animal health company Huvepharma® – has now also received FDA approval for combination use with other drug feed additive products in the manufacture of Type B and C medicated feeds.