11-28-17 Pork Checkoff News: Pig Farmers Pay It Forward Ham by Ham

Pork Checkoff News: Pig Farmers Pay It Forward Ham by Ham

Second annual #HamsAcrossAmerica campaign kicks off in Iowa

DES MOINES, IOWA – Nov. 28, 2017 – Today, the National Pork Board, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and PrairieFresh® Premium Pork joined forces to support the second annual #HamsAcrossAmerica campaign in Central Iowa. The organizations hosted a kickoff event, on Giving Tuesday, to serve clients of the Central Iowa Shelter and Services and provided a nearly 70,000-pound pork donation to the Food Bank of Iowa, courtesy of Smithfield Foods, Seaboard Foods, Triumph Foods and U.S. pig farmers.

“As pig farmers, giving back to our community always has been an integral part of who we are,” said Bill Tentinger, a pig farmer from Le Mars, Iowa, who serves on both the National Pork Board and the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors. “Hams Across America and this kickoff event allow me and other farmers to live the We CareSM ethical principles and share our love of the product that we produce.” Continue reading

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, November 28th

Survey Shows Young Farmers Ready to Defy Odds

The new generation of young farmers expects to overcome major barriers to their success in agriculture, according to a freshly released national survey. Young farmers expect to tackle barriers including access to land, affordable health care, and mounting student loan debt in their quest to farm. However, the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey says success will require deliberate policy change at all levels of government. Released by the National Young Farmers Coalition, the survey collected data from more than 3,500 young and aspiring farmers under 40 years of age. The report found that the top challenge cited by young farmers is land access, particularly finding and affording land on a farm income. It is also the main reason why farmers quit farming and why aspiring farmers haven’t yet started, according to the survey. With the release of the survey, the coalition is calling on Congress to enact a slate of policy reforms it calls the “Young Farmer Agenda.” The agenda includes addressing land access, student debt management, and increasing the skilled agricultural workforce. The survey can be found at www.youngfarmers.org.

Trade Tops China, Canada Meeting Agenda

Trade will top the agenda between China and Canada next week during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s (True-doh) visit to China. The visit is aimed at promoting a “progressive trade agenda” that Canada says will “create good, middle-class jobs,” according to Bloomberg News. The trip comes as Canada is in the midst of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Mexico. China was Canada’s second-largest trade partner behind the U.S. last year, with nearly $70 billion in total trade. Merchandise shipments to China rose four percent to almost $21 billion in 2016, led by forest and agricultural products. Officials from China say a potential bilateral trade deal with Canada would boost economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mexico Bans Select GMO Soybean Plantings in Seven States

Mexico’s agriculture sanitation authority has revoked Monsanto’s permit to commercialize genetically modified soybeans in seven states, a move Monsanto calls unjustified. Monsanto says in a statement that the permit had been withdrawn on unwarranted legal and technical grounds, according to Reuters. The company said it would take the necessary steps to safeguard its rights and those of farmers using the technology. Officials from Mexico in a document say the permit was withdrawn due to the detection of transgenic Monsanto soy in areas where it was not authorized. However, Monsanto rejected that argument, saying in its statement that authorities had not done a proper analysis.

Ethanol Groups Applaud EPA Point of Obligation Announcement

Last week’s decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to reject petitions to change the Renewable Fuel Standard point of obligation drew applause from ethanol groups. The American Coalition for Ethanol, known as ACE, said in a statement that the coalition is “grateful EPA is rejecting to change the rules for a handful of greedy refiners” who they say want to escape their responsibilities under the law. ACE maintains that moving the RFS point of obligation to downstream marketers would place burdens on station owners and consumers. Meanwhile, Growth Energy praised the EPA for “laying to rest a year of attempts” to change the rules. Last Wednesday, EPA announced it would reject the petitions, saying the agency doesn’t believe the change would be beneficial. Petitioners had claimed that changing the point of obligation would result in an increase in the production, distribution and use of renewable fuels in the U.S. and would reduce the cost of fuel for consumers.

Former BPI Employees Apply for Financial Aid Fund

Roughly 700 former Beef Products Inc. employees have applied for financial aid from a fund created by a lawsuit settlement with ABC News. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports that BPI representatives are currently reviewing the applications to determine how it will distribute the funds, taking into account how employees were financially impacted and their length of service. The $10 million fund was established to benefit BPI employees negatively affected by plant closures in 2012. The fund was announced after BPI reached a settlement with ABC News in its defamation lawsuit. BPI closed three of its production facilities in 2012 and laid off about 750 employees after business fell off following a series of media reports that referred to the company’s Lean Finely Textured Beef product as “pink slime.”

Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives

A nearly 80-foot tall Christmas tree arrived Monday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service provides a tree each year from a different state for the Capitol. This year’s tree, an Engelmann Spruce, is 79 feet tall and comes from northwest Montana. The 15,000 lbs., the 76-year-old tree made a two-week, 3,400-mile journey to reach the Capitol. With the tree, around 70 companion trees, ranging anywhere from six to 20 feet tall, and all from Montana, will go to Senate and congressional offices. The annual tree-lighting ceremony at the Capitol is scheduled for December 6th.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service