The 120 international meat buyers who descended on the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) product showcase last week in Kansas City to meet with 21 U.S. processors and exporters didn’t come to make small talk. They came to buy U.S. beef, pork and lamb. And that’s just what they did.
“Now I can give more choices to my sales people,” said Romagle Bastidas, trade manager for Grupo Alonzo, which operates 24 companies in the Dominican Republic and imports anywhere from 10 to 40 containers per month of U.S. products, including beef, pork and lamb. “I have learned about many different cuts and different ways to come up with new center-of-the-plate items. Now I can think outside of the box.”
Grupo Alonzo, which operates the largest abattoir in the Caribbean along with a value-added sausage plant, provides red meat products to virtually every hotel in the Dominican Republic in addition to selling at retail. Grupo Alonzo’s Bastidas took advantage of the week-long USMEF-organized trip to the United States to visit feedlots, meat processing plants, the National Restaurant Association show, and Kansas State University for a one-day program designed to familiarize participants with details about the U.S. meat grading and production system. Funding for the week-long program was provided through the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), Beef Checkoff Program and Pork Checkoff.
Bastidas is clear about her motivation.
“Our consumers prefer U.S. product,” she said.
For some buyers, this was their first time to the United States. It opened their eyes to different ways that fresh and frozen meat can be packaged and how they can offer their customers more options.
“This trip changes the way I buy (meat),” said Ana Maria Ordonez, manager of commercial perishable purchasing for UniSuper supermarkets in Guatemala. “Understanding the different types of retail packages that are available means that I can now buy mixed containers, which will make it easier to sell more product.”
For others, such as Carlo Mangravita of Macello, SA, in Panama, the U.S. visit and USMEF product showcase showed them that there are different production models than those they have seen in their home countries.
“We don’t have (meat processing) plants like this,” said Mangravita. “We don’t have new machines like this. The future of Central American meat processing is here right now. For me, this is a very good experience to develop new suppliers.”
The American Sheep Industry Association’s (ASI) 2014 Photo Contest is underway and is open to all who wish to enter. The only rule is that the photographs entered in the contest must include sheep or lambs raised in the United States.
Photographs entered in the contest will be judged on clarity, content, composition and appeal. More than $1,000 will be awarded to winners.
The deadline? Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 1.
The winning photos will be highlighted in the October 2014 issue of Sheep Industry News and will be available on Oct. 1 at www.sheepusa.org.
Photographers are advised to submit photographs in large file size and both horizontal and vertical photos are encouraged.
There are four categories in this year’s contest:
- Action – Photographs of activities such as shearing, wool classing/skirting/baling, moving/trailing sheep, lambing, tagging, feeding, etc.
- Scenic (East) – Photographs of sheep outdoors located east of the Mississippi River. (Photos entered in this category cannot include people.)
- Scenic (West) – Photographs of sheep outdoors located west of the Mississippi River. (Photos entered in this category cannot include people.)
- Open – Photographs with subject matter that does not fall into the three above-listed categories.
Entries should be emailed to email@example.com with the subject line of ASI Photo Contest. Those mailing photos should send them to ASI; Attn: Photo Contest; 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, CO 80112.
Update Your Contact Information
We need your help! A website is only as good as the information contained within it. Now that the new American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) website has been launched, making sure the contact information is correct has become a priority.
Lists ranging from state sheep associations, breed associations and allied industries to wool and lamb contacts are all available on www.sheepusa.org and need to be verified.
Please go online to www.sheepusa.org and click on the ‘Contact’ tab to verify that your company or association information is correct. If changes are needed, please email the ASI office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for helping the industry keep current!
FTC Amends Wool Labeling Rules
The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in May, at 114 percent, based on 2011=100, decreased 1 point (0.9 percent) from April. The Crop Index is up 1 point (1.0 percent) but the Livestock Index decreased 1 point (0.8 percent). Producers received lower prices for hogs, milk, eggs, and cattle. Prices were higher for broilers, oranges and strawberries. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a 3-year average mix of commodities producers sell. Increased monthly movement of cattle, hay, sweet corn, and broilers offset the decreased marketing of soybeans, hogs, calves, and apples.The preliminary All Farm Products Index is up 4 points (3.6 percent) from May 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 124, was unchanged from last month but increased 14 points (13 percent) from May 2013.
Prices Paid Index up 1 Point
The May Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is 112 percent of its 2011 base. The index is up 1 point (0.9 percent) from April and 6 points (5.7 percent) above May 2013. Higher prices for complete feeds, feeder cattle, hay & forages, and potash & phosphate more offset lower prices in May for feeder pigs, concentrates, other services, and LP gas
WASHINGTON, May 30, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced the reassignment of cane sugar marketing allotments among cane sugar producing states, beet sugar marketing allocations among beet processors, and the remaining, reassigned to imports of raw cane sugar. CCC also announced that no actions are anticipated under the Feedstock Flexibility Program through Sept. 30, 2014.
Fiscal Year 2014 Reassignments
Federal law requires a maximum limit on the volume of sugar that can be sold in the United States by domestic sugarcane and sugar beet processors for domestic human consumption. These limits, known as allotments or allocations, are set at a level sufficient to keep raw and refined sugar prices above sugar loan rates established by law, but that the nationwide quantity of sugar is no less than 85 percent of estimated deliveries for domestic human consumption for the crop year. If USDA determines that sugar sold by a processor will be less that its assigned limit, then USDA reassigns the limit to other processors. For cane sugar, a reassignment is made first among processors in the same state, then to other cane sugar states, and then to CCC. Should CCC have no sugar in its inventory, any remaining limits are reassigned to imports of raw cane sugar.
CCC has determined that the cane sugar sector is not expected to fill at least 550,000 tons of its assigned maximum limits, and that none of the processors within Florida, Louisiana and Texas require additional limits. CCC therefore has reassigned an allocation of 29,501 short tons, raw value (STRV) to the lone Hawaiian cane processor, with the remaining unused limit for the entire cane sector of 550,000 STRV reassigned to estimated imports of raw cane sugar.
CCC also redistributed unused limits from beet sugar processors to beet sugar processors requiring more limits. The remaining unused limit for the entire beet sector, 100,000 STRV, was reassigned to estimated imports of raw cane sugar.
Limits reassigned to imports were reflected in the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE) and is not expected to increase the overall level of sugar imports to the United States.
The revised 2014 fiscal year cane and beet sugar allocations can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/fy_2014_overall_beet.pdf
Feedstock Flexibility Program
Under the law authorizing the Feedstock Flexibility Program, CCC is required to announce quarterly estimates of the quantity of sugar CCC anticipates to purchase from the domestic market for resale to biofuel manufacturers. Based on the fiscal year 2014 ending sugar stocks-to-use projection of 12.9 percent reported in the May 9, 2014, WASDE, and sugar prices being above loan forfeiture levels, CCC has determined it will take no action under the FFP at this time. Continue reading
Americans United for Change has announced the hiring of a state grassroots coordinator to fight across Colorado against Big Oil’s efforts to block competition from renewable fuels that are cleaner, cheaper, and better for engines.
Beginning on Monday, June 2nd, Laura Chapin will work on the local level and as part of a nationwide grassroots effort to mobilize progressive activists who believe in a cleaner, more secure energy future. Chapin will arm volunteers and activists across Colorado with the resources they need to fight Big Oil and put a stop to our foreign fossil fuel-addiction once and for all. Colorado was selected to be among the first states with a grassroots coordinator because of the central role renewable fuels will play in the upcoming November elections.
“I can’t wait to begin fighting alongside my fellow progressives to create a better, cleaner, more secure energy future for America,” said Chapin. “Our national security, environment, and pocketbooks have been threatened by foreign oil interests for long enough – and we’re producing innovative renewable fuels that are cleaner, cheaper, and better for engines right here in the U.S.A.”
“We have a choice between a better energy future with more American jobs and more money in American wallets, or staying hooked on foreign fossil fuels that hurt our environment and security, and force us to pay for unstable foreign markets at the pump,” said Jeremy Funk, communications director for Americans United for Change. “There is a legion of grassroots activists across the country who are ready to show their friends and neighbors what a no-brainer that choice really is, and we couldn’t be more excited that Chapin will be leading that effort in Colorado.”
In a recently released report, President Obama highlighted the “increasing use of biofuels” as “enhanc(ing) the resilience of the U.S. economy to (these) oil price shocks.” Additionally, the report declared that “Renewables also must play an important role in the transportation sector.” Continue reading
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation today urged the Environmental Protection Agency to allow more time to examine a controversial draft regulation expanding the waterways subject to regulation under the federal Clean Water Act.
“It is imperative that the EPA go about this effort in the right way, in light of the potential impact of this measure on dairy farmers,” NMPF’s President and CEO, Jim Mulhern, wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Assistant Secretary of the Army. “It would be a disservice to farmers to rush this proposal through the review process without sufficient scientific support or time to better understand the complexities of the issue.” [A copy of the letter is attached to this email]
NMPF, which represents dairy farmers producing most of the nation’s milk supply, asked that the public comment period on the draft regulation be extended at least 90 days.
Unveiled in March, the draft regulation expands the waterways covered under the 1972 Clean Water Act to nearly all those connected to U.S. navigable waters. Opponents, many of whom have urged EPA to withdraw the regulation, argue it would have a devastating impact, particularly on agriculture.
The prediction is based on earlier reports that the caterpillar stage of this insect, known as the army cutworm, has been unusually abundant this spring and damaging to crops. The “miller moth” stage of the army cutworm occurs later as the caterpillars transform to moths and begin their annual migration from the plains to the mountains.
“The rainfall and good soil moisture of the northeastern part of the state will allow this year to be unusually good for blooming plants,” said Cranshaw. “If so, that will have an effect of spreading out the moths, rather than having them concentrated in irrigated yards. This may suppress, a bit, the incidence of them in/around homes.”
The moths already began to emerge in mid-May, earlier than normal, but are not expected to peak until the middle of June. Warm, clear, calm nights accelerate migration activity and moths are often most noticeable on days that follow a night favorable to flight.
Army cutworm caterpillars were not unusually abundant in southeast Colorado where there has been an extended drought, according to Cranshaw. This will result in normal or below average numbers of moths, but those that do appear will be concentrated around the sites of blooming plants.
Cranshaw and Peairs have produced an information sheet with questions and answers about miller moths that can be found at http://col.st/1n9VXzp.
Denver, Colo. — The American Sheep Industry Association’s (ASI) 2014 Photo Contest is underway and is open to all who wish to enter. The only rule is that the photographs entered in the contest must include sheep or lambs raised in the United States.
Photographs entered in the contest will be judged on clarity, content, composition and appeal. More than $1,000 will be awarded, with awards of $125 going to the grand-prize winner in each of the four categories listed below; $75 for the first runner-up in each category; and a $50 prize for the second runner-up in each of the four categories.
The deadline? Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 1, 2014.
The winning photos will be highlighted in the October 2014 issue of Sheep Industry News and will be available on Oct. 1 at www.sheepusa.org. Only the grand-prize winner, first runner-up and second runner-up in each category will be notified of their winnings.
Photographers are advised to submit photographs in large file size. Also, judges and ASI staff encourage entrants to provide both horizontal and vertical photos. This will better assure your talented and creative photos can be shared in future issues of Sheep Industry News.
Below are the four categories in this year’s contest: Continue reading
“House Appropriations Passes 2015 Ag Appropriations Bill”
The House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2015 ag appropriations bill by a vote of 31 to 18 yesterday (Thursday). The committee rejected an amendment from House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sam Farr of California to strike the provision in the bill requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant waivers regarding the school meal nutrition requirements by a vote of 29 to 22 – according to The Hagstrom Report. Democrats supported Farr’s amendment and Republicans opposed it. Other amendments rejected were one to restrict USDA non-recourse loans for sugar cane or sugar beet processors to operations under 300,000-dollars and reforms to certain GIPSA provisions. The committee approved amendments regarding horse meat inspection, banning the purchase of Chinese-processed chicken in the school lunch program and vending machine calories.
“Ag Exports Forecast Looks Ahead to Record Year”
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says American farmers and ranchers are on track for another year of record exports – which builds on the past five-years of the strongest agricultural trade in history. USDA released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade Thursday and projects Fiscal Year 2014 ag exports will reach 149.5-billion dollars – which would be a 6.9-billion dollar increase from previous estimates and a new record for U.S. ag exports. The volume of U.S. ag exports is projected to increase by 31-percent between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014. Vilsack says USDA will continue to focus its efforts on tapping into new markets for what is grown and made in rural America. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $6 million to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop online decision tools and other materials and train experts to educate producers about several key farm bill programs. The new Web tools will help farmers and ranchers determine what participation in programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will mean for their businesses.
The University of Illinois (lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education [NCPE]), along with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M (co-leads for the National Association of Agricultural and Food Policy [NAAFP]), will receive a total of $3 million to develop the new online tools and train state-based extension agents who can in turn help educate farmers.
“Helping farmers and ranchers understand new Farm Bill programs and what the programs mean for their families is one of USDA’s top priorities,” said Vilsack. “With the resources we’re providing, university experts will help ensure farmers and ranchers are highly educated as they make critical decisions about new programs that impact their livelihoods. The new tools that will be developed will empower farmers and ranchers to select the plan that best fits their unique needs.”
WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report. USDA projects that Fiscal Year 2014 agricultural exports will reach $149.5 billion, an estimated $6.9 billion higher than previous estimates and, if realized, a new record for American agricultural exports. Today’s report indicates that the record growth is due not just to rising prices, which have driven export numbers in the past, but also to an increase in the volume of U.S. agricultural exports, which is projected to increase by 31 percent between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014.
Last Fiscal Year, agricultural exports reached $140.9 billion and supported nearly one million jobs here at home. Fiscal Years 2009 to 2013 represent the strongest five years in history for agricultural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $619 billion over those five years.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on this report:
“American farmers and ranchers are on track for another year of record exports, which builds on the past five years of the strongest agricultural trade in our history. This report indicates that the volume of U.S. agricultural exports has increased, which demonstrates an increasing global appetite for high-quality, American-grown products.
The Army Corps of Engineers and EPA recently released a proposed rule revising the definition of “Water of the United States” under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposal would appear to expand the scope of federal jurisdiction, while failing to achieve, in certain areas, the level of clarity needed by regulated entities.
On June 11th, 2014, Mark Pifher, Colorado Water Congress Board Member and Water Quality Committee Chair, will present testimony on behalf of the National Water Resources Association (NWRA) and the Western Urban Water Coalition (WUWC) during a federal hearing on “Potential Impacts of Proposed Changes to the Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Rule” in order to provide the Subcommittee with the perspective of Western water users.
Join us for background on the subject and a preview of what’s to come! The proposal and this webinar is of direct interest to those who are point source dischargers under section 402 of the CWA and those in need of dredge and fill permits under section 404 of the Act.
The June 5th webinar from 9-10am will examine various aspects of the proposed rule, including: Continue reading
CWSP Update on Initiative 75
Right to Local Self-Government
On Thursday, May 22, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the Title Board’s actions onInitiative 75- Right to Local Self-Government. Proponents can now collect signatures in hopes of placing the Initiative on the 2014 Ballot.
The Ballot Title states: “An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a right to local self-government, and, in connection therewith, declaring that the people have an inherent right to local self-government in counties and municipalities, including the power to enact laws to establish and protect fundamental rights of individuals, communities, and nature and the power to define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities to prevent them from interfering with those fundamental rights; and declaring that such local laws are not subject to preemption by any federal, state, or international laws.”
To learn more about Initiative 75 and others tracked by the Colorado Water Stewardship Project, visit: www.cowaterstewardship.org.
This year, the 2014 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) is going to new heights as it focuses on aerospace engineering. Taking place on October 8, the 4-H NYSD 2014 National Science Experiment will beRockets to the Rescue!, developed by the University of Arizona.
This year’s science experiment tasks youth with one mission: feed a community plagued by natural disaster. Youth will be responsible for building an aerodynamic food transportation device that can deliver large amounts of food to disaster victims. While participants will learn STEM concepts like previous NYSD experiments, they will also learn a powerful and valuable lesson in nutrition and helping to solve a current, global issues such as providing relief services in the wake of natural disaster.
Since 2008, 4-H NYSD has engaged millions of youth around the world in exciting and innovative STEM learning and experiences, from wind power to robotics to geospatial technology. Although the official NYSDevent takes place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center Washington, D.C., clubs, groups and schools worldwide take part in the science event every year.
Participating in NYSD is easy: Continue reading
May 8th, marked the official centennial anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension System. Since the beginning of the year, 4-H, Cooperative Extension and USDA have commemorated 100 years of Extension through national and local events, and sharing the history of successful educational programming in agriculture and beyond.
On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith Lever into federal law, allowing funding of the land-grant universities, which were established in 1862 via the Morrill Act. These funds were provided for the assistance of outreach and extended knowledge in the field of agriculture. This created a strong partnership between Congress, USDA and land-grant universities, known as the Cooperative Extension System.
This year, National 4-H Council is celebrating the strength and success of the collaboration with Extension and USDA. Today, all three organizations come together for the Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation in Washington, D.C. Planned by the Extension Committee of Organization & Policy (ECOP), this historic ceremony presents opportunities for key leaders and members of Extension, Council and USDA to reflect on 100 years of such a unique educational partnership and to discuss what’s to come in the next century.
Presenters, speakers and guests of the Centennial Convocation included: Continue reading
Sioux Falls, SD (May 29, 2014) – Ron Lamberty, Senior Vice President for the American Coalition for Ethanol called a new anti-ethanol study released today “ridiculous.”
“This study takes a couple of real things, connects them in an imaginary scenario, and then multiplies over time, to create a big, scary conclusion. A couple of weeks ago, that same “study” process was featured in the release of the latest “Godzilla” movie,” Lamberty said. “The truth is, there is no Godzilla, and there is no way that burning more oil is better for the environment than replacing it with more ethanol – even after you add some of the fictitious elements that have been added to the ethanol story over time.”
“This latest ethanol hit-piece says ‘more than eight million acres of grassland and wetlands were converted for corn alone,’ while the latest USDA Census of Agriculture shows farm acreage dropping by nearly eight million acres from 2007 to 2012, the first five years of the Renewable Fuel Standard. These people expect us to believe farmers were spending time and money to drain wetlands and plow marginal land while they quit farming productive cropland. That’s ridiculous. Not only that, the law they want to overturn specifically outlaws that practice,” said Lamberty.
WASHINGTON (May 29, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations’ passage of agriculture appropriations legislation:
“Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Committee has chosen to rehash old farm bill fights by defeating two amendments aimed at eliminating a harmful rider that continues to allow abusive market behavior by livestock and poultry processors. This rider only serves the profits of multinational meatpacking companies, to the detriment of family farmers, ranchers and rural America. I encourage conferees to follow the Senate’s lead by removing this misguided provision.
“The committee also cut important funding from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and from farm bill energy and conservation programs, limiting agencies’ ability to implement reforms included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and the 2014 Farm Bill. I hope Congress adopts the Senate’s more moderate approach and restores this funding as the bill progresses.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.
The new digital “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” (BIWFD) advertising campaign is off to a tremendous start, with exciting new creative elements and more information to reach the important millennial consumer.
The idea of “social” plays a big role in meal inspiration, instruction and sharing, with more than 300 million social media posts per month. That’s why the millennial influence and explosion of digital media led your beef checkoff to develop five new BIWFD recipe videos on the BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com website. These “no-recipe recipe” videos offer millennial consumers – who are just beginning to learn how to cook with beef – easy yet delicious ways to fit beef into their lifestyles. The website also features new tips and techniques for preparing winning beef meals and an update about beef’s “Power of 10” essential nutrients.
“No matter what incarnation beef takes – a lean burger, stir fry, within a salad, etc. – it ties the meal together,” said Claire Thomas, video director. “These videos are all about simple meals, and the clever, easy strategies to make them great.”
Here is a link to the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” video playlist.