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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for January 10th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on January 10, 2013

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“Final Traceability Rule Gets Thumbs Up from NCBA”

The final Animal Disease Traceability rule has been published in the Federal Register and will become effective March 11th. The rule establishes general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has created a final rule that includes many of the comments submitted by NCBA on behalf of cattle producers across the country. According to NCBA Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons – APHIS listened to the voices of livestock producers when drafting this rule – and the final product is one that will help reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduce the time needed to respond and decrease the cost to producers.

Under the ADT rule – unless specifically exempted – livestock moved interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation. The use of brands, tattoos and brand registration are accepted as official identification when accepted by the shipping and receiving states or tribes. For cattle and bison moved directly to slaughter – backtags will be accepted as an alternative to official eartags.

Simmons says the announcement that a separate rulemaking process will take place for beef cattle under 18 months of age is most important to cattle producers. The final rule currently exempts beef cattle under 18 months of age from the official identification requirement unless they are moved interstate for shows, exhibitions, rodeos or recreational events.

Simmons notes cattlemen and women are dedicated to raising healthy cattle. She says the implementation of the ADT rule further reinforces the commitment by the livestock industry and government to ensuring the U.S. continues to supply the nation and the world with safe, high quality beef. Simmons adds that NCBA encourages APHIS to continue working with industry leaders on this and all animal health issues.


“Nearly 600 Counties in 14 States Designated as Disaster Areas”

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has made the first USDA disaster designations of 2013. He designated 597 counties in 14 states as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat on Wednesday. All qualified farm operators in the areas are now eligible for low-interest emergency loans. As drought persists – Vilsack says USDA will continue to partner with producers to see them through longer-term recovery. He says USDA will also take the swift actions needed to help farmers and ranchers prepare their land and operations for the upcoming planting season. In addition – Vilsack plans to continue working with Congress to encourage passage of a Food, Farm and Jobs bill that gives rural America the long-term certainty they need – including a strong and defensible safety net.

Based on U.S. Drought Monitor measurements – all of the counties designated Wednesday have shown a drought intensity value of at least severe drought for eight consecutive weeks – providing for an automatic designation. The counties designated are in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. For news on each individual state – visit the USDA Farm Service Agency website at www dot fsa dot usda dot gov ( Go to the Newsroom and click on the link to Emergency Designation News Releases.

In 2012 – more than 22-hundred counties in 39 states were designated as disaster areas due to drought. That’s 71-percent of the U.S.


“Vilsack Highlights Rural Development’s Accomplishments Through 2012 Investments”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a report Wednesday highlighting investments through USDA Rural Development in job creation, businesses, infrastructure and housing for rural communities during Fiscal Year 2012. Rural Development has provided affordable housing, improved utility infrastructure and helped create jobs, build rural economies and increase the quality of life in rural areas through more than 176-billion dollars in loans and loan guarantees. Vilsack says President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment in rural communities that have made them stronger. This past year – Rural Development assisted more than 270-thousand low and very low income families live in safe, multi-family housing and also helped nearly 17-hundred families move into new apartment units. For more information on the accomplishments of USDA’s Rural Development in 2012 – go to www dot rur dev dot usda dot gov (


“Pork Producers Have Access to New Tools In Case of Crisis, Emergency”

National Pork Board Member Derrick Sleezer says two newly introduced tools funding by the Pork Checkoff allow producers to fill in the blanks and tailor each plan to his or her operation – provided a clear plan of action in an otherwise challenging time. One of those tools is the Farm-Level Crisis Response Plan – which provides a framework for evaluating the risk of on-farm crisis situations – identifying prevention measures – and responding effectively in case of a crisis. This tool can be downloaded at pork dot org slash farm level crisis plan ( The second tool is the Emergency Action Plan – which provides an outline for producers to create a customized plan for their operation. This tool can be downloaded at eap dot pork dot org (


“Commodity Classic Just 50 Days Away”

The deadline to register for the lowest rate for Commodity Classic is only 10 days away – ending at midnight on January 20th. Commodity Classic Co-Chair Bob Worth says it’s the place to be to know what’s next in agriculture. The Classic will take place in Kissimmee, Florida February 28th through March 2nd. To register – go to www dot Commodity Classic dot com (


“AFT President Steps Down, Into New Role as Teacher”

American Farmland Trust President Job Scholl has announced his plan to step down this summer after a five-year term as head of the nation’s leading farmland conservation organization. Scholl will step into a teaching position at the University of Illinois’ College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences to teach agricultural policy. AFT Board Chair Miranda Kaiser says Scholl’s commitment to America’s farmers is unwavering. Anyone interested in the position as AFT President should contact Wendy Pangburn through email at

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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