FMC’s “Buck” Buckwalter Awarded Highest CAPCA Honor

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Each year, the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) honors a member with its “PCA Advisor of the Year Award and Service to CAPCA.” The highest honor given by the association was awarded to Henry “Buck” Buckwalter, state regulatory government affairs manager for FMC, during the 2016 Conference & Agri-Expo luncheon. The 42nd annual event was held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California and Buck received thunderous applause as he took the stage to accept the award.

FMC's Henry "Buck" Buckwalter receives PCA Advisor of the Year Award and Service to CAPCA from former President Jeremy Briscoe.

FMC’s Henry “Buck” Buckwalter receives PCA Advisor of the Year Award and Service to CAPCA from former President Jeremy Briscoe.

I asked Buck how it felt to get up in front of hundreds of people and accept such an honor. “It was difficult because I never thought I’d be a recipient of this award. There’s a lot of good people who have received this award before, and to put me in with that crowd was a bit humbling. I might say very humbling,” he said.

He joined a CAPCA chapter when he moved to California and said at the time the biggest draw was that the organization calculated your CEU hours (Continuing Education Units. Buck said his next draw was the camaraderie and the exchange of information with his peers. Today he sits on the board and helps with regulatory issues.

I also asked Buck if 30 years ago he could envision the new tools and technologies available today to which he answered, “No, I could never predict some of the precision agriculture we have today or some of the genomics we have to choose from as growers today – no, I never would have thought.” However, the water issues California is seeing today, Buck said, the ag industry saw coming back in the late 70s and so water and pesticide management was used then to conserve resources just as they are now.

To learn more about Buck, listen to my interview here: Interview with Henry Buckwalter, FMC

Be sure to check out even more action by viewing the 42nd Annual CAPCA Photo Album.

Audio, Award, FMC, pesticides, Precision Agriculture, Water

Ag Groups Defend Sustainability of #GMOs

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

USFRA1Agricultural organizations are doubling down on their defense of biotechnology as sustainable, after challenging Dannon for its pledge to eliminate genetically-modified ingredients from some products, citing that it improves sustainability.

“There comes a time when we as farmers and ranchers need to step up and challenge when companies misinform consumers,” said U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance CEO Randy Krotz on a press call this morning to announce plans for a “Straight Talk” campaign to engage the food industry in a dialogue on sustainable agriculture production.

While many foods are being marketed as non-GMO, Dannon was a tipping point for the industry because their pledge indicated that GMO crops were less sustainable that non-GMO crops. “It’s really about sustainability – it’s not about non-GMO or GMO, we can grow whatever the customer wants,” said USFRA chair Nancy Kavazanjian of Wisconsin. “To equate a modern technology that we use that makes us more sustainable and to try and say it makes us less sustainable – that was the point where we had to say something.”

nmpf-04“When you look at the product that Dannon is talking about putting on the shelf…there’s only two differences,” said National Milk Producers Federation chairman Randy Mooney of Missouri. “One is the writing on the carton and the other is the price. If agriculture goes back 20 years, food prices in this country are going to go up.”

University of Arkansas Office for Sustainability Executive Director Dr. Marty Matlock discussed how food biotechnology has helped improve agricultural sustainability since 1980, citing statistics on corn and soybeans from the Field to Market® 2012 Environmental and Socioeconomic Indicators Report. “U.S. agriculture is the most efficient production system in the world,” said Matlock. “Efficiency means reducing inputs and reducing impacts.”

USFRA and NMPF also launched an on-line dialogue about the topic today with the hashtag #AgTechTalk.

Listen to comments from Kavazanjian, Matlock, Mooney and Krotz here: Ag Groups Defend GMO Sustainability

Dialogue with reporters: USFRA/NMPF #AgTechTalk

dannonMeanwhile, Dannon also doubled down on its decision to “evolve the Dannon, Danimals and Oikos brands to be made with non-GMO ingredients,” holding a meeting with farmer partners this week to “further develop alternative models of dairy supply.”

“We believe it is possible to combine non-GMO crops and sustainable agriculture building on farmers’ expertise and practices, always being mindful about state-of-the-art agronomic science,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO of The Dannon Company, at the same time noting that some Dannon products “will continue to be made with GMO ingredients, as it is our belief that the currently approved GMOs are safe.”

Audio, Biotech, Dairy, Food, GMO, USFRA

Making Hunger Extinct at #TransformFFA

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

ffa-16-247-edited Those who study and work in the agriculture industry are often directly involved in global conversations about world hunger, as well as the fight to eliminate it, and FFA students are no exception. When HungerU, a mobile tour that promotes awareness and discussion about food insecurity, set up a booth at the 2016 National FFA Convention & Expo, they were impressed with the knowledge and appreciation these future ag leaders already possess.

“All of the FFA students have a really unique perspective on agriculture because a lot of them have a background in agriculture, but that isn’t always the case at the Universities we go to,” said HungerU’s Anna Libra in an interview during the convention. “We see a lot more appreciation for agriculture here, the facts about world hunger are less shocking to FFA students.”

The HungerU exhibit was fun and interactive, with a giant T-Rex on display in honor of the organization’s commitment to “Make Hunger Extinct,” and students visiting the booth were encouraged to take the HungerU challenge.

“It’s five questions about global food security, and after we ask students to come in and take the challenge they have the opportunity to opt in to have us donate a meal on their behalf to local organizations we’ve partnered with,” said Libra.

Learn more in Jamie’s full interview with Anna here:
Interview with Anna Libra, HungerU

Be sure to check out even more action by viewing the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by FMC
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Audio, Education, FFA, Food, Food Security, University

Alltech’s Aimee Reese Inducted into NAPW

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

napw_logo_bigAlltech’s Aimee Reese has been honored by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) as a 2016-2017 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in agriculture bio technology. NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members, a thriving eChapter and over 200 operating Local Chapters.

“I’m pleased to welcome Aimee into this exceptional group of professional women,” said NAPW President Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.”

For the last 10 years, Aimee Reese has been Senior Executive Assistant at Alltech. There, she supports the Owner/Founder and CEO, Dr. Pearse Lyons, with scheduling of meetings, conference calls, etc. She handles all administrative duties and manages a staff of assistants. Ms. Reese is also involved with the Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals.

The unwavering dedication demonstrated by Ms. Reese fully utilizes the aspirations for success that have earned her this recognition from the National Association of Professional Women, honoring her as an inspiration and a leader in her industry.

Agribusiness, Alltech, Award

Hunting with a Bad Boy

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Bad Boy Off Road Recoil IS CrewWell, say hello to a brand new Bad Boy Off Road Recoil IS Crew. This four passenger side by side features a 72V AC drivetrain for what I like to call “silent running.” It let’s you get a lot closer to your deer stand than a gas engine.

Did I mention that I’m on my annual deer hunt? It’s that time in Georgia and the Crystal Pig Hunt Club is seeing some early pre-rut action!

Back to the Bad Boy. This vehicle also has 4 wheel independent suspension so we’ve got a very smooth ride on these rough roads and trails here at the Pig. That means a lot, especially after a long day in a stand and cleaning deer.

Speaking of deer, my first morning in the Recoil I went to my stand and shot two does. I saw the buck I want and hope to find him in my sights next time. I put the does in the cargo space and hauled them to our cleaning stand.

So, why a Bad Boy and why now? To start with, I have an old model Bad Boy from before they were acquired by Textron Specialized Vehicles. It is also out here at the Pig doing yeoman’s work moving us around. I’ve been very impressed with it and when the opportunity presented itself to test drive a new model I jumped. During this Georgia deer season I’ll be letting you know a lot more about using the Recoil in a very practical situation. I’m making notes for now and there will be much more to come.

Thank you Textron and Bad Boy Off Road! Official hunt vehicle of the Crystal Pig Hunt Club this season.


Ethanol Impresses Students at National FFA Convention

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

ffa-16-269-editedFFA Students already understand the importance of ethanol to rural communities and national security, says Cory Harris of Growth Energy and American Ethanol.  That’s why they’ve chosen this special group of agriculture students to focus the message of performance.

“Our message here at National FFA Convention, […] we really wanted to focus this year on engine performance with Ethanol,” Harris told Jamie Johansen.

Many of the students at the event knew ethanol was corn based, and some related it to racing, but the team at Growth Energy wanted to go a little further.  They brought in a racing boat and experts to share with the future of agriculture just how proficient this alternative fuel can be.  Students can be skeptical about how it will work for them, Harris explains.  Their goal is to assure members that the product works great in small engines too, like their car or lawn mower.

The Convention provides a great place for students to talk about the science behind the product, but it will also provide the opportunity for a student to attend a NASCAR race and see ethanol in action with a drawing for free tickets.

Learn more about Growth Energy and their goals for FFA in Jamie’s interview: Interview with Cory Harris, Growth Energy

Be sure to check out even more action by viewing the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by FMC
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Education, Ethanol, FFA

Megatrends Offer Agribusiness Opportunities

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

exex16-nolanA number of global megatrends can mean new opportunities for agribusiness moving forward, according to Chris Nolan with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who gave the keynote address this week at the 2016 Export Exchange co-sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the U.S. Grains Council.

Nolan identified five global megatrends – demographic shifts, global economic power shifts, accelerating urbanization, resource scarcity, and evolving technology – that provide opportunities for the agricultural industry.

One of the most important megatrends for the audience at Export Exchange is the demographic shifts, which Nolan differentiated from population growth. “The fact is population growth is not a trend but a fact of life,” he said. However, the accelerating growth of the middle class is a trend that means the need for food will increase faster than the overall rate of population growth. “To be in the middle class means you consume more calories and your diet includes protein,” said Nolan. “Feeding the middle class will mean increased protein consumption so investment in the protein value chain will be required.”

And producing more animal protein will mean producing more grains to feed those animals, which means opportunities for increasing exports of U.S. coarse grains and distillers feed from ethanol production.

Listen to Nolan’s presentation here: Chris Nolan, PricewaterhouseCoopers

2016 Export Exchange Photo Album

Audio, Ethanol, Feed, Grains, USGC

FFA to Farm Bureau: Life After the Blue Jacket

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

ffa-16-240-edited Attendees at the 2016 National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis had a blast visiting the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) booth, which offered FFA members the chance to dress up in wacky accessories and pose for photos with the AFBF photo frame.

“Our hope is that we can bring FFA members into our booth, help them have a really great experience here, and we’re pushing our hashtag #FFA2YFR, as a way to help members remember that, as they transition out of their blue jacket there is still a really cool home for them with either the Collegiate Farm Bureau program or ourYoung Farmers & Ranchers Program (YF&R),” said Marty Tatman, AFBF Director of Program Development, in an interview during the Convention.

Also featured at the booth was a table for attendees sit down and take a moment to write thank-you notes for our nations farmers and veterans. The cards will be distributed to AFBF member farmers and veterans at various events throughout the year.

Learn more about AFBF’s involvement with FFA, as well as several upcoming AFBF events, in Jamie’s full interview with Marty here: Interview with Marty Tatman, AFBF

Be sure to check out even more action by viewing the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by FMC
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Audio, Farm Bureau, FFA

#SecureTheFuture of Agriculture with Farm Credit

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ffa-16-374-editedFarm Credit gave FFA members who attended the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo the opportunity to take a pledge and share how they will secure the future of agriculture. Farm Credit’s Growing Forward Specialist, Dakota Everts, is tasked with promoting their young beginning small farmer program and shared more about their commitment to the future of agriculture.

“At Farm Credit, our mission is to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture. We are asking FFA members how they can do that because we realize they are the future of agriculture.”

At first, Dakota said they seemed a bit apprehensive and didn’t quite understand the role they can play. “But when we explained to them that it’s through farming, it’s through education and going to school to study agriculture their faces lit up and they get very excited.”

Farm Credit also has scholarship programs for students wanting to go back to the farm or support agriculture in one way or another. Listen to my complete interview with Dakota to learn more: Interview with Dakota Everts, Farm Credit

Be sure to check out even more action by viewing the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo Photo Album.

Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by FMC
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by New Holland
Agribusiness, Audio, Farm Credit, FFA

Which Candidate is Better for Agricultural Exports?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is most important to food sustainability?”

Sustainability is no longer simply a word used in agricultural circles. Consumers are also weighing in and therefore food companies are recognizing the importance of sustainability in agriculture, but some aren’t understanding technology and food production work hand-in-hand. Yet, this poll stresses agriculture’s point. All factors need to come into play when we talk sustainability.

Here are the poll results:

  • Biotechnology – 14%
  • Precision technology – 0%
  • Nutrient management – 4%
  • Water management – 8%
  • Ag education – 13%
  • All of the above – 53%
  • Other – 8%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, Which candidate is better for agricultural exports?

Both major party candidates have said they are opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership which most studies show would help to open up markets and increase agricultural exports. The Obama administration has been strongly in favor of TPP and urging Congress to ratify the trade agreement as soon as possible, but that will not likely be before the end of the year, leaving it in the hands of the next president and a new Congress. So, which candidate would be better to help increase ag exports?