08-25-17 CLA: Bill Hammerich named 2017 Livestock Leader Award Honoree

Bill Hammerich named 2017 Livestock Leader Award Honoree

Join the Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences for the Livestock Leader Reception to celebrate the 2017 Livestock Leader, William Hammerich. The reception will be held on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Colorado State University Animal Sciences Building in Fort Collins, CO.
Bill Hammerich has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) since 2002. He grew up on a cattle and farming operation in Western Colorado and after graduating from high school he attended Colorado State University where he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics.  Following graduation, he began his working career with Monfort of Colorado, then Farr Feeders and was with the Sparks Companies before joining CLA. Continue reading

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 25th

Brazil Slaps Tariff on U.S. Ethanol

The Brazilian Agriculture Minister announced on Wednesday that the country’s Chamber on Foreign Trade approved a recommendation to impose a 20 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol imports after a 600 million liter tariff rate quota. Brazilian media are reporting the tariff will be in effect for two years. This will make it much more difficult for U.S. ethanol to access a large and growing market. The U.S. Grains Council, Renewable Fuels Association, and Growth Energy issued a joint statement saying they were disappointed and discouraged to see the ruling in Brazil. The statement says, “Given the tremendous volume of information we provided to Brazil that demonstrated how misguided a tariff would be, it seems politics prevailed today and Brazilian consumers lost.” They say imposing a tariff on U.S. ethanol will only hurt Brazil’s consumers by driving up costs when they fill up at the pump. The action also goes against one of Brazil’s own longstanding beliefs that tariffs are inappropriate and will effectively close off an open and bilateral trade relationship that benefits all parties involved. The groups will work through all of the channels available to encourage that this idea is reversed immediately.

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Stabenow Supports Call to Withdraw Clovis Nomination

Democrats Charles Schumer of New York and Brian Schatz of Hawaii called for President Trump to withdraw the nomination of Sam Clovis as USDA Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics. The Hagstrom Report says shortly the announcement, Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow says that if the Clovis nomination isn’t withdrawn, she will highlight his comments on minorities, gays, Barack Obama, and many others. Stabenow, Ranking Member on the Senate Ag Committee, says in an email that she has voiced objections to the nomination from day one. “If President Trump doesn’t withdraw this nomination, I will work as ranking member of the ag committee to bring to light his troubling record and ask tough questions about his suitability for this important job,” she says. Schumer and Schatz both say Trump should withdraw the nomination immediately because he’s a known skeptic of climate change and “wildly unqualified for the job.” They also feel it would be a gesture by the administration to the American people that they’re dedicated to rooting out the most hateful voices in our society.

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IBM Announces New Food Traceability Program

A group of companies in the global food chain announced a partnership with IBM intended to give consumers more confidence in the global food system. The group includes companies like Walmart, Nestle, Tyson Foods, and many others. They’ll work with IBM to find areas in the global supply food chain that can benefit from the IBM program Blockchain. An IBM news release says every year, one in four people falls ill, and 400,000 die, from contaminated foods. Many of the issues affecting food safety, including cross contamination and food-borne illness, are made worse by a lack of access to information and traceability. In the event of a problem, it can often take many weeks to identify the point of contamination. Blockchain is one place that can hold information on the origins and state of the food in transactions throughout the food chain. This platform can enable food suppliers to trace a contaminated product back to its source more quickly, ensuring safe removal from grocery store shelves and halting any additional spread of illness.

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Amazon Cleared to Take Over Whole Foods

The Federal Trade Commission cleared Amazon to officially take over Whole Foods. Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says Amazon will spend $13.7 billion to acquire the Austin, Texas-based high-end food grocery store chain. The FTC wrapped up its investigation and found no anticompetitive effects sufficient to block the deal. Acting competition bureau chief Bruce Hoffman says, “Based on our investigation, we’ve decided not to pursue this matter further. Of course, the FTC always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should it become necessary.” Whole Foods shareholders approved the deal on Wednesday. Politico says there’s been a lot of unhappiness regarding the deal and what it means for consumers, retailers, and even the so-called food movement. However, these two companies together only comprise about two percent of the overall food market. In comparison, Walmart has over 14 percent and Costco sells way more organic food than Whole Foods does. While speculation remains over what Amazon intends to do with the deal, nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

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McDonald’s Announces Global Antibiotic Phase Out

McDonald’s Corporation announced it’ll be expanding its effort to cut back on the use of antibiotics critical to human health across the global chicken supply. The fast food giant will require its poultry suppliers to phase out drugs categorized under the highest priority category in the World Health Organization’s four categories by January of next year. Those antibiotics will disappear from use in McDonald’s products in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Japan, and South Korea. Australia and Russian suppliers will stop using the antibiotics at the end of the following year. Suppliers in other markets will need to stop using the medications by January of 2027. The company is said to be working on similar plans for its beef, dairy, and egg suppliers as well, but for now, it starts with poultry. A McDonald’s statement says, “We understand that animals, like people, get sick and require treatment. Treating sick animals is consistent with McDonald’s long standing commitment to animal health and welfare.” The company says it looks forward to engaging farmers and veterinarians in the responsible use of antibiotics is key to our vision of preserving antibiotic effectiveness.

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Swine Disease Monitoring System in Development

Farm Journal’s Pork Network Dot Com reports the Swine Health Information Center has funded a nearly real-time monitoring system for swine disease across the globe. The system will include the capability for identifying potential hazards due to new diseases or potential changes in current diseases. It will also be able to screen the information collected and regularly report it to the pork industry. The system is a collaborative project between the University of Minnesota and USDA/APHIS Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health. Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Paul Sundberg says, “Having a systematic way to monitor new or emerging diseases around the globe helps keep the U.S. pork industry informed of risks. Knowing the changes in risks will spur thinking about how to mitigate them.” Data will be evaluated by a group of swine health experts on a regular basis. The information will be graded to decide on a consensus of risk to the U.S. pork industry. The system is expected to be ready early next year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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