READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 9th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 9th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

VP Pence Calls on Congress to Pass USMCA

Vice President Mike Pence spent time early this week promoting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement while calling on Congress to pass the trade deal. Pence penned an editorial in the Arizona Daily Star promoting the trade agreement. The Vice President also toured a Tyson Foods facility in Tennessee. Meanwhile, in a White House statement, Pence says USMCA will add more than $68 billion to the U.S. economy and create another 176,000 American jobs. That includes nearly 50,000 good manufacturing jobs. Pence says, “to keep the momentum going, Congress must pass a trade deal that President Trump negotiated,” with Mexico and Canada. The House Democrats working group spent time in Mexico at the start of the week, focusing on enforcement of labor provisions included in the agreement. Democrats in the House are negotiating with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to reach a deal they can approve. Mexico ratified the agreement this summer, and Canada is expected to ratify the agreement following its federal election later this month.

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Unions File Lawsuit Against USDA Slaughter Modernization Rule

Food worker unions announced a lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture this week over the new swine slaughter modernization rule. The rule eliminates the line speed limits in pork slaughter facilities. United Food and Commercial Workers, along with other unions, filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the rule. A spokesperson says increasing pork plant line speeds “is not only a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm’s way.” The unions also say, “USDA admitted in its rule that it simply ignored the mounds of evidence that showed its actions will harm workers.” The lawsuit alleges that the new rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it is not backed by “reasoned decision-making.” The groups say that even at current line speeds, swine slaughter and processing workers face many job risks that can lead to severe injury, illness and death, adding there “is no evidence that line speed increases can be done in a manner that ensures food and worker safety.”

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R-CALF Seeks to Stop RFID Ear Tag Mandate

A lawsuit by R-CALF USA seeks to block the Department of Agriculture’s mandate of radio frequency identification, or RFID, ear tags for all animals required to have official identification. R-CALF and other groups filed the lawsuit last week seeking an injunction against Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator Kevin Shae, who together issued the RFID mandate in April of this year. Beginning January 1, 2023, USDA says all cattle and bison that are required to have official identification under current regulations must have official RFID ear tags. The lawsuit alleges that USDA’s mandate, along with the requirement that they obtain a premises identification number, and the elimination of all other animal identification options currently available to U.S. cattle producers, violate current traceability regulations. R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard says the move by USDA shows “USDA is catering to special interests,” adding “the agency wants to gift RFID ear tag manufactures even more profits.”

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NPB: Prioritize Flu Vaccinations to Protect People and Pigs

The National Pork Board is reminding producers to add flu vaccinations to their fall priority list. Pork producers are working through the on-farm tasks ahead of winter, including a focus on ventilation and rodent control. However, the Pork Checkoff says farm managers should also prioritize flu vaccinations for everyone working on the farm. Heather Fowler, DVM, director of producer and public health for the Pork Checkoff, says vaccinating farm employees “is the best thing producers can do to protect their families, co-workers and pigs from the flu.” A seasonal flu vaccination is a public health recommendation and part of the One Health approach to protect people, pigs and the global environment. Equally important, Fowler says farms need to have sick-leave policies in place that encourage workers to stay home if they are suffering from flu-like respiratory symptoms. Find more tips and recommendations to how to best protect your animals and employees from the flu at www.pork.org.

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AFBF Opens Convention Registration

The American Farm Bureau Federation Tuesday announced the opening of online registration for its 2020 annual meeting. AFBF will host the 101st Annual Convention & Trade Show, January 17-22, 2020, in Austin, Texas. Attendees will learn about the policies and perspectives affecting their farms, ranches or agribusinesses and gain deep insight into current trends impacting food production. With a focus on AFBF’s theme for the year, 2020 Vision: Sustaining America’s Agriculture, the convention will bring thousands of farmers and ranchers from around the country together to hear from powerful speakers on subjects ranging from trade, broadband and the farm economy to business development, consumer engagement and technology. AFBF President Zippy Duvall notes agriculture is at a crossroads, adding “it has never been more important for farmers and ranchers to have the latest information about the challenges and opportunities we face.” Duvall says the convention is “unique in its ability to inform, engage and unite farmers and ranchers.” Find more information and registration details at www.fb.org.

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John Deere Collectors 2020 Conference Announced

Organizers recently announced the 11th Gathering of the Green Conference in Davenport, Iowa. The event, planned for March 18-21, 2020, is a conference for John Deer enthusiast and collectors. Organizers say the conference site at the RiverCenter in downtown Davenport, Iowa, will transform into a County Fair atmosphere with elaborate displays that focus on the 2020 theme, “It’s Fair Time.” Gathering of the Green board member Ken Reese says it’s also important because county fairs “were an important place for Deere and John Deere Dealers to exhibit and market their latest equipment in the 1930-1970’s.” The Gathering of the Green offers more than 60 workshops for attendees and typically includes a collection of old John Deere tractors and implements, along with collectible items. Organizers of the event are all volunteers who are members of one of four tractor clubs in the Quad Cities region. Conference registration is now open. Conference details are available on the Gathering of the Green’s website at www.gatheringofthegreen.com.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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