06-07-17 The Beef Checkoff’s Digital Ecosystem

The Beef Checkoff’s Digital Ecosystem

The following commentary is provided by Polly Ruhland, Cattlemen’s Beef Board CEO

Answer this question: Do you have a smart phone?

consumers using digital devicesIf you do, you are participating in the digital ecosystem. You’ve managed the ecosystem of your farms and ranches since you started in the cattle business, likely putting most of the emphasis on the living things. There are living things in the digital ecosystem, too (you and me, for example). But it is the non-living things that take up most of the space: all those apps, photos, music, etc. Yes, you and that phone are an ecosystem.

Your beef checkoff’s digital ecosystem also relies on interactions of non-living and living things. The non-living includes: research, knowledge, recipes, and so on, all funded by your checkoff dollars. On the living side, we have consumers looking for information about beef and how it’s produced, your employees, and the checkoff and industry experts you interact with.

So, how does the checkoff get the right messages to each member of this complex ecosystem?

Beef’s Complicated Digital Ecosystem

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06-07-17 NRCS: Colorado Basin Outlook Report for June 1st Available Now

CLICK HERE to view the full report

NRCS: Colorado Basin Outlook Report for June 1st Available Now

Summary: As of May 1st, statewide water year-to-date precipitation was still at 108 percent of normal despite the prior two months having received below average precipitation. However, snowpack was decreasing earlier and faster than normal throughout substantial parts of March and April, causing some early concern regarding Colorado’s summer water supply situation. Fortunately, May precipitation made a solid turnaround from the previous months. Temperatures were cold as several storms rolled in to provide additional snow to the higher elevations of many mountain ranges in Colorado. The greatest accumulations were seen along the Front Range where several feet of snow fell in one mid-May storm. Statewide May precipitation totaled 135 percent of average, with the South Platte and Arkansas River basins receiving notably more than any other basins. By the end of May, statewide water year-to-date precipitation increased to 111 percent of average. Snowpack had begun an early melt in March but the storms that came through were cold, which helped keep a relatively good snowpack in place. As of the first of June, snowpack is running off at normal rates or slightly later than normal. In reservoirs across the state, storage totals remain above normal at 109 percent of average. Altogether, above normal snowpack, precipitation, and reservoirs on June 1st are positive indicators of good water supply for Colorado going into the early summer months. Continue reading

06-07-17 National Potato Council’s Summer Meeting in Denver June 28-30 – REGISTER NOW!

National Potato Council logo


The NPC summer meeting will be taking place June 28-30 in Denver. The policy environment in Washington, DC, is heating up rapidly. Come to Denver and join the
discussion on tax reform, a stable workforce for agriculture, trade issues, proposed budget cuts to potato research programs and the 2018 Farm Bill. There is still
time to Register for the 2017 NPC Summer Meeting. Continue reading

06-07-17 Joint Statement – Wheat Industry Stresses Importance of Food Aid at Farm Bill Hearing

Wheat Industry Stresses Importance of Food Aid at Farm Bill Hearing

Washington, D.C. (June 07, 2017) – Today, the House Committee on Agriculture held a Full Committee hearing on The Next Farm Bill: The Future of International Food Aid and Agricultural Development. On behalf of the wheat industry, Mr. Ron Suppes, a wheat grower from Dighton, KS, testified on food aid and a recent trip to Tanzania where he saw programs that utilized wheat. Continue reading

06-07-17 NCGA Applauds Trump for Prioritizing Infrastructure

NCGA Applauds Trump for Prioritizing Infrastructure

WASHINGTON (June 7, 2017) – The National Corn Growers Association applauded President Trump’s pledge today to make rebuilding America’s infrastructure a national priority and committed to work with his Administration on the issue.

“It’s time to recapture our legacy as a nation of builders, and to create new lanes of travel, commerce, and discovery,” President Trump said at a speech in Cincinnati on the backdrop of the Ohio River. Continue reading

06-07-17 Inside the BARN with Newly-elected National Pork Board Treasurer Brett Kaysen of CO…

Inside the BARN with Newly-elected National Pork Board Treasurer Brett Kaysen of CO…

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) June 7, 2017 – Terry O’Neel, pork producer from Friend, Nebraska, was elected as president of the National Pork Board at the organization’s June board meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, during the 2017 World Pork Expo.  Serving with O’Neel on the executive officer team of the Pork Checkoff is vice president Steve Rommereim, pork producer from Alcester, South Dakota, and, as treasurer, Brett Kaysen, pig farmer from Nunn, Colorado. Not too forget, Jan Archer, pork producer from Goldsboro, North Carolina, will serve as immediate past president.

Joining the BARN to talk about his position as Treasurer is Nunn, CO’s Dr Brett Kaysen…


The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at pork.org.

06-07-17 Pork Checkoff Builds Momentum for Secure Pork Supply Plan

Pork Checkoff Builds Momentum for Secure Pork Supply Plan

Plan will minimize business disruption from foreign animal diseases

DES MOINES, IOWA – June 7, 2017 – The National Pork Board, with major support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is creating a Secure Pork Supply plan to help America’s pig farmers respond quickly and successfully to a major threat, such as a foreign animal disease (FAD). The plan will enhance communication and coordination of all pork chain segments to help producers keep their farms operating and all related business activities functioning.

“We’re thankful that our country has not experienced a disease such as foot-and-mouth (FMD) since 1929,” said Terry O’Neel, National Pork Board president from Friend, Nebraska. “However, if we get the news that FMD, African swine fever or another foreign animal disease has arrived, the Secure Pork Supply plan will pay big dividends by getting pork production back to normal much faster.” Continue reading

06-07-17 NFU Urges Immediate Adoption of Farmer Fair Practices Rules

NFU Urges Immediate Adoption of Farmer Fair Practices Rules

WASHINGTON – The Farmer Fair Practices Rules, a set of three rules that provide very basic protections for farmers and ranchers, were released in December 2016 to address the most anti-competitive and abusive practices levied against family farmers by meatpackers and processors. Because the rules are being reviewed by the new administration, National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to finalize them.

“Chicken growers and livestock producers operate in an extremely consolidated agricultural marketplace, where lack of competition provides the major meat companies with tremendous power,” said Johnson. “And sometimes this power can be unfairly levied against the individual farmers and ranchers who have little to no market power. This has led to egregious practices that have no place in agriculture, and that are prohibited by the Farmer Fair Practices Rules. We urge the USDA to finalize the rules immediately on behalf of our nation’s family farmers and ranchers.” Continue reading

06-07-17 The 30th annual ACE conference highlights market momentum

The 30th annual ACE conference highlights market momentum


Sioux Falls, SD (June 7, 2017) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) conference coming up Aug. 15-17 in Omaha features retailers, fuel marketers and ethanol plants helping grow nationwide availability of higher ethanol blends.

“This year’s conference again showcases people who are doing the actual work of developing new markets for ethanol,” said Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of ACE. “The real-world experience these speakers bring to our conference can be a valuable learning opportunity for ACE conference attendees.” Continue reading

06-07-17 NCGA Launches Open Innovation Challenge to Find the Next Big Thing for Corn

NCGA Launches Open Innovation Challenge to Find the Next Big Thing for Corn

ST. LOUIS (June 7, 2017) — The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with innovation facilitator NineSigma, today announced the launch of a global competition to identify new and innovative uses for field corn as a renewable feedstock for making sustainable chemicals with significant market demand.

Growing interest in America’s emerging bio-economy and continued improvements in sustainable corn production underscore the versatility and potential of this crop.  The “Consider Corn Challenge” is a starting point to help industry realize corn’s full potential.

“Corn has a history of being an abundant, cost-effective, and sustainable feedstock for chemicals used in thousands of products. This challenge is geared to inspire new concepts, approaches and technologies that will help drive innovation,” said Larry Hoffmann, a farmer from Wheatland, North Dakota and chairman of NCGA’s Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team. “In addition to researchers who have increased the spectrum of renewable chemicals from corn to date, we are reaching out to the global innovation community that is largely untapped regarding new product frontiers for corn.” Continue reading

06-07-17 CDA: Important Reminder for Colorado Livestock Brand Owners

CDA: Important Reminder for Colorado Livestock Brand Owners

Brand Assessment Due June 30, 2017
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Livestock brands are vital to protecting Colorado’s livestock industry and are an important part of the state’s history and culture.  The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Brand Inspection Division reminds brand owners that the brand assessment payment must be received in the Brand Office by5p.m. on June 30, 2017, to avoid payment of a $25 late fee.  A timely postmark will not suffice; payment must be physically received in the office by 5p.m. on June 30, 2017.
The brand assessment amount is $300 per brand and is good for five years. Brand owners can bring or send checks made payable to “Brand Inspection Division”, together with their 2017 Colorado Brand Assessment Notice, to the following address:  Brand Inspection Division, 305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, CO 80021.
If you have any questions, please call the Brand Office at (303) 869-9160.

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06-07-17 CSU: Twilight Garden Series offers three summer programs for gardeners

CSU’s Twilight Garden Series offers three summer programs for gardeners

Topics of interest to Front Range gardeners are the focus of the 2017 Twilight Garden Series, which will feature three informative presentations this month: “Celebrating Native Plants,” “Promoting Pollinators” and “Bringing the Trial Gardens Home.” Continue reading

06-07-17 National Pork Board Elects New Officers: NE’s O’Neel; SD’s Rommerein, CO’s Kaysen & NC’s Archer…

National Pork Board Elects New Officers

Nebraska pig farmer Terry O’Neel to lead the Pork Checkoff

DES MOINES, IOWA – June 7, 2017 – Terry O’Neel, a pork producer from Friend, Nebraska, was elected as president of the National Pork Board at the organization’s June board meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. The National Pork Board is comprised of 15 farmer-directors representing America’s pig farmers.

“I am proud to represent our 60,000 pig farmers and I am both honored and humbled by the confidence that the board is placing in me,” O’Neel said. “From the farm, through food chain partnerships, to the consumer’s table, people care about how their food is produced. I look forward to helping to tell the story of real pig farming in the year ahead, and also to meet first hand with the leaders who deliver our product from farm to table.”

O’Neel and his wife Diane own and operate O’Neel Farms in Friend, Nebraska, a farrow-to-finish pig farm that markets 12,000 pigs annually. In addition to pigs, O’Neel Farms also grows corn and soybeans on 700 acres.

Serving with O’Neel on the executive officer team of the Pork Checkoff is vice president Steve Rommereim, a pork producer from Alcester, South Dakota, and, as treasurer, Brett Kaysen, a pig farmer from Nunn, Colorado. Jan Archer, a pork producer from Goldsboro, North Carolina, will serve as immediate past president. The four executive officers will serve one-year terms in their positions effective at the close of the June board meeting. Continue reading

06-07-17 USDA/NRCS webinar: Improving soil health on urban farms, June 13

USDA/NRCS webinar: Improving soil health on urban farms, June 13

Minor Morgan of North Valley Organics discusses and displays how he and his family apply the basic principles of soil health on their certified organic farm near Albuquerque, New Mexico. A photo-tour of his farm will highlight:

  • Soil health improvement,
  • Habitat for pollinators and wildlife,
  • Farm infrastructure development,
  • Pest and weed management,
  • Soil nutrient management, and
  • Water management

Continue reading

06-07-17 FFA Award Winners Tour Ireland, Gain Perspective on Global Agriculture

Click here to learn more about the National FFA Organization

FFA Award Winners Tour Ireland, Gain Perspective on Global Agriculture

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, June 7, 2017/National FFA Organization) – As the agricultural community becomes increasingly global, it is crucial that young people considering careers in the industry understand the opportunities and challenges of international trade. A group of 52 national FFA award winners will tour agricultural sites in Ireland this summer and compare the industries of Ireland and the United States. Following an orientation session in New York City on June 8, the group will depart for a nine-day tour.

Participants were selected from the 188 National FFA Agricultural Proficiency Award finalists and the 16 American Star Award national finalists named last October at the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. The international experience, as well as cash awards and plaques, are made possible by business and industry contributions to the National FFA Foundation. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, June 7th

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, June 7th

U.S., Mexico, Reach Sugar Deal ahead of NAFTA Talks

The United States and Mexico Tuesday agreed to end a dispute regarding the trade of sugar ahead of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA talks are expected to begin in August, and experts say the sugar agreement shows promise regarding the NAFTA efforts. Under the agreement, Mexico will cut its refined sugar exports to the United States from 53 percent to 30 percent. The deal is designed for Mexico to avoid the imposition of punitive tariffs due to a finding by the U.S. government that Mexico had sent the United States subsidized sugar, and that the sugar was sold at dumped prices, according to the Hagstrom Report. U.S. Grains Council CEO Tom Sleight called the agreement an important milestone as the Grains Council works to “maintain our existing, robust trade of U.S. grains and related products” ahead of the NAFTA talks. Former chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, Daniel Pearson, told Reuters if the negotiations “had melted down, the NAFTA conversation would have been more difficult.” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said the agreement “sets an important tone of good faith” leading up to NAFTA renegotiations.

Canada, U.S., Ag Leaders Talk Tade

The top agriculture leaders from the United States and Canada met earlier this week, discussing trade and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. While no negotiations took place during the meeting, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the pair did lay out concerns on agricultural trade issues, including dairy. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the two had “very good, very candid discussions” that were “very frank, like family members discussing some things that are not necessarily comfortable.” Perdue said they laid out a “great framework” to begin renegotiating NAFTA. Noting that the U.S. and Canada have one the closest trading relationships in the world, Canada Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said: “I’m confident that we can reinforce this relationship in a balanced manner, allowing us to boost farmers’ bottom lines and create good, middle-class jobs on both sides of the border.”

Beef and Pork Exports Moderate in April, Remain Above Year-ago Levels

U.S. red meat exports last month slowed moderately from the pace established in March, but were still significantly higher year-over-year, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Beef exports reached 99,000 metric tons in April, up 13 percent from a year ago, valued at $550.4 million. For January through April, beef exports were up 14 percent in volume and 18 percent in value, at $2.16 billion, compared to the same period last year. Pork exports followed a record-breaking March with a solid April performance, reaching 203,000 metric tons, up eight percent from a year ago, and the largest April volume on record. Export value was up 11 percent to $517 million. For January through April, pork exports increased 15 percent in volume and 19 percent in value at $2.1 billion. USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng cautioned: “While April was a very solid month for U.S. red meat exports, we remain in an extremely competitive situation across the world and must stay aggressive with our marketing efforts.”

Monthly Farm Economy Survey Holds Steady

A monthly survey on farmers thoughts regarding the farm economy held steady last month. The latest reading of the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which is based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers from across the country, was 130. The producer sentiment index has hovered near 130 for five of the last six months and remains considerably stronger than both last fall and a year ago. A reading above 100 reflects positive sentiment, while a reading below 100 reflects negative sentiment. Producers’ forward-looking expectations, as measured by the Index of Future Expectations, improved modestly to 136. This was the second month in a row that the index increased. Meanwhile, the Index of Current Conditions fell to 117, a 10-point decline from its April reading. The latest survey also asked farmers about the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Results show 61 percent of respondents thought the outcome of a renegotiated NAFTA agreement would be beneficial for U.S. farmers.

Farm Bureau Seeks Advancement of EPA Assistant Administrator Nominee

The American Farm Bureau Federation is asking a Senate committee to approve the nomination of Susan Bodine to a top Environmental Protection Agency post. Bodine was nominated last month as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance at EPA. AFBF President Zippy Duvall penned a letter to Chairman John Barrasso and Ranking Member Tom Carper of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee seeking the advancement. Duvall praised Bodine for her many years of “fair and effective leadership” in the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the Bush-era EPA. The Senate committee was expected to consider Bodine’s nomination Wednesday morning. Bodine currently serves as chief counsel for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a position she has held since 2015.

World Pork Expo Underway in Des Moines, Iowa

The 2017 World Pork Expo is getting underway today (Wednesday) In Des Moines, Iowa. The annual event includes the Pork Checkoff and the National Pork Producers Council, and features thousands of U.S. and global pork producers, industry professionals and industry experts at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The event offers learning sessions and seminars, a trade show, and a hospitality tent for pork producers. The Pork Academy seminar by the Pork Checkoff offers producers information on the latest technologies and practices. The seminars will be offered Wednesday and Thursday. Learn more about the events and sessions at World Pork Expo this year online at world pork dot org (www.worldpork.org).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service