08-15-19 American Lamb Board: Farm/Ranch Tours Proving Effective for Showcasing Benefits of US Lamb with Chefs

American Lamb Board: Farm/Ranch Tours Proving Effective for Showcasing Benefits of US Lamb with Chefs

U.S. consumer food choices are often sparked by creative chefs many years before they become mainstream. Examples are ethnic flavor fusion, local foods and sustainable options. Getting US lamb in favor with the right chefs is a cornerstone foodservice marketing strategy of your checkoff promotion program for both current and future industry benefit.

The American Lamb Board (ALB) is increasing its efforts among forefront chefs to showcase American lamb and create a preference versus imported choices. Of the tactics used by ALB, one of the most effective is to host chefs on US sheep farms and ranches. Tours give chefs first-hand proof of how much care goes into raising US lamb and how passionate our American farmers and ranchers are about producing the highest quality meat in a sustainable manner. Continue reading

08-15-19 USRSB Recognizes Programs in Alignment with the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework

USRSB Recognizes Programs in Alignment with the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework

DENVER (August 15, 2019) – The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB), a full beef stakeholder initiative focused on continuous improvement, recognized two industry programs and one audit company that successfully demonstrated alignment to the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework.

In May 2019, the USRSB launched a formal program recognition process that established a path for marketplace programs to be recognized when they are in alignment with the six key elements of the framework, including animal health and well-being, efficiency and yield, employee safety and well-being, air emissions and greenhouse gas emissions, land resources and water resources.

Recognized programs to date include: Continue reading

08-15-19 ACE’s 32nd Annual Ethanol Conference Kicks Off in Omaha, NE

ACE’s 32nd Annual Ethanol Conference Kicks Off in Omaha, NE

Omaha, NE – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 32nd annual conference kicked off in Omaha, Nebraska, today with a welcome from Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and updates from ACE leadership.

“As the second largest ethanol producing state in the nation, President Trump’s approval of year-round E15 is a big win for Nebraska,” Governor Ricketts said.  “There is, however, still more work to do.  While the EPA granted fewer small refinery waivers to the RFS this year, the 1.4 billion of gallons waived undermines the purpose of the RFS.  To deliver on President Trump’s support for ethanol, the EPA should be more transparent about the waiver process and reallocate any waived gallons.  They owe it to our farmers.”

“The agriculture and ethanol industries have been weathering challenging market conditions, as we convene for the 32nd annual ACE conference, and there are headwinds to confront ahead,” Kristensen said. “With uncertainty surrounding the RFS and trade negotiations, we must engage in meaningful dialogue to find ways to increase demand for ethanol in our fuel supply domestically with E15 and higher ethanol blends, as well as in markets around the globe that are beginning to recognize ethanol’s high octane and environmental benefits in renewable fuels policies.” Continue reading

08-15-19 Make plans to Attend the 5th National Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference in Austin, TX November 17-20

Make plans to Attend the 5th National Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference in Austin, TX November 17-20

Farmer Veteran Coalition is excited to announce the 2019 Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference will be held November 17-20 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas.

This year’s conference is the fifth national gathering of the farmer veteran community and will feature two days of education, distinguished speakers, guest panels, networking and more.

“The most common addresses of our veteran members are rural route and county road,” said FVC Founder and Director Michael O’Gorman. “Our community of farmer veterans, whether they live far from town or in town, benefit greatly from the chance to meet each other and share ideas in person at our national conference.” Continue reading

08-15-19 CDA: Blockchain in Agriculture Research Request

CDA: Blockchain in Agriculture Research Request

Broomfield, Colo. – In 2019, the Colorado State Legislature passed House Bill 19-1247, which directs the Commissioner of Agriculture to convene an advisory group to study the potential applications for blockchain technology in agricultural operations and to report to the general assembly by January 15, 2020.

As a result, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is gathering existing ag-related blockchain research so that we can report the data required by House Bill 19-1247 and begin to assemble a blockchain advisory group. Continue reading

08-15-19 USDA Using Flexibility to Assist Farmers, Ranchers in Flooded Areas

USDA Using Flexibility to Assist Farmers, Ranchers in Flooded Areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 15, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced it will defer accrual of interest for all agricultural producers’ spring 2019 crop year insurance premiums to help the wide swath of farmers and ranchers affected by extreme weather in 2019. Specifically, USDA will defer the accrual of interest on spring 2019 crop year insurance premiums to the earlier of the applicable termination date or for two months, until November 30, for all policies with a premium billing date of August 15, 2019. For any premium that is not paid by one of those new deadlines, interest will accrue consistent with the terms of the policy.
“USDA recognizes that farmers and ranchers have been severely affected by the extreme weather challenges this year,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “I often brag about the resiliency of farmers but after a lifetime in the business, I have to say that this year is one for the record books. To help ease the burden on these folks, we are continuing to extend flexibility for producers with today’s announcement.” Continue reading

08-15-19 KDA: Republican River Compact Administration to Meet August 22nd

KDA: Republican River Compact Administration to Meet August 22nd

MANHATTAN, KS — The Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA) will hold its annual meeting at 9:30 a.m. CDT on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 at the Pioneer Memorial Library, 375 W. 4th Street in Colby, Kansas.

The RRCA meeting will focus on water-related issues and activities, including compact compliance, within the Republican River basin in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

In addition, RRCA will hold a work session to prepare for the annual meeting at 3:30 p.m. on August 21, 2019, also at the Pioneer Memorial Library. Both the work session and the annual meeting are open to the public. Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for August 15th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for August15th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 15th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 15th

Chinese International Relations Experts: Trade War Could lead to Cold War

Chinese experts on international relations claim the current U.S.-China trade war could lead to a cold war. The South China Morning Post reports one expert claims: “If ideological rivalry were to become a core component of U.S.-China competition, proxy wars would break out between the two nations, similar to the U.S.-USSR clashes during the cold war era.” However, given the propaganda nature of China, it’s hard to verify the legitimacy of those claims. The U.S. recently did comment on reports of Chinese military near the Hong Kong border, as a protest in Hong Kong continues. The U.S. State Department says it is “deeply concerned” by the action. The trade war, which prompted China to halt purchases of U.S. farm commodities, threatens a once $24 billion market for U.S. agriculture. However, the recent move by Trump, delaying a round of tariffs until December, may be an inclination of negotiation progress. Trade leaders from China and the U.S. spoke over the phone this week and will meet in Washington next month.

Trump Asking Japan to Purchase U.S. Ag Products

President Trump is asking Japan to purchase U.S. farm products as the two nations seek a small trade deal including agriculture. Trump asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to buy a “huge amount” of U.S. wheat and soybeans as the negotiations continue, according to Reuters. Japan and the United States are targeting an agreement by September on trade issues, including tariffs on U.S. beef and the automobile sector. Trump has made a similar request of China as part of the talks around the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China. A Japan deal would be welcomed by U.S. agriculture, disadvantaged in the market as competitors enjoy smaller tariffs. The off-balance tariffs stem from Trump removing the U.S. from the then-called Trans-Pacific Partnership. The U.S. Meat Export Federation says sales have remained strong, considering the higher tariffs. Sales figures remain flat, but not losing market share is positive. Japan represents a significant opportunity for U.S. beef exports, if the tariffs are reduced.

Record Number of Poultry Facilities Recognized for Outstanding Safety Performance

During the 2019 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry in Florida, a record 230 chicken and turkey facilities received safety awards by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council. The companies were honored in recognition of their outstanding performance through the implementation of employee safety and health programs. A committee spokesperson says the committee received a record amount of applications to the program, as well. The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council consists of members from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the three organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation’s poultry products and directly employ more than 350,000 workers. Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years and an evaluation of written applications by academia and other safety experts. One hundred and twenty-two facilities received the highest level of recognition, “Award of Distinction.” The other categories included “Award of Honor” and “Award of Merit.” Find the list of winners at nationalchickencouncil.org/.

New Trucking Hours of Service Rules Proposed

The Trump administration Wednesday proposed changes to hours of service rules for commercial vehicle drives. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published the proposal seeking to give drivers “more flexibility while maintaining the safety limits on driving time.” The proposal is separate from the ongoing comment period for livestock haulers. The agency is accepting comments until the end of September to determine what should be considered livestock or an agricultural commodity. Currently, states can determine when drivers transporting agricultural commodities, including livestock, are exempt from the HOS requirements, within a 150-mile radius of the source. Among the changes to the overall rule proposed this week, the rules would increase flexibility regarding mandated breaks. The proposal also modifies the adverse driving conditions exception through extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted. The proposed rule would not increase driving time and would continue to prevent operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in duty status.

NPB Announces Pig Farmer of the Year Finalists

The National Pork Board recently announced the four finalists vying to be named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. The program honors a U.S. pig farmer each year who excels at raising pigs following the We Care ethical principles and who is committed to sharing their farming story with the American public. National Pork Board President David Newman says the finalists “do what’s best on their farms every day,” and showcase the diversity of family farming in the United States. The finalists are Doug Dawson of Delaware, Ohio, Chris Hoffman of McAlisterville, Pennsylvania, Josh Linde of Manilla, Iowa and Thomas Titus of Elkhart, Illinois. To help select the winner, the four finalists will meet with an expert panel of third-party judges in Chicago later this month. The judges will view videos produced at the finalists’ farms and will interview each of them. Through August 27, the public can vote once a day per email address for their favorite finalist at americaspigfarmer.com. The winner will be announced in October.

Bunge to Move H.Q. to St Louis

Bunge Limited announced this week the company will relocate its global headquarters from White Plains, New York, to St. Louis, Missouri. Bunge is a well-known agribusiness and food company focused on grain processing and exporting, and is the world’s largest soybean processor. Bunge CEO Gregory Heckman says the move is “a big step forward in shifting the Company’s operating model to align around a more efficient, streamlined global business structure.” Heckman was appointed CEO a few months ago and has ties to the Midwest. He spent years in executive positions at ConAgra Foods and Gavilon, both based in Omaha, Nebraska. Bunge calls St. Louis an important hub for it’ North American operation, noting the city home to several food and agriculture organizations and customers. Bunge is in the early planning stages of the transition to the new global headquarters, which is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2020. The company will move to an office in Chesterfield, Missouri, in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service