NMPF Welcomes New Hires and Reorganizes Staff

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Emily MeredithCIn an effort to further advance the National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) strategic agenda, Emily Meredith, formerly NMPF’s vice president of animal care, has been promoted to chief of staff. NMPF also welcomes two staff to the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) animal care program team.

As chief of staff, Meredith will take on new responsibilities for strategic planning, organizational oversight and management of staff activities. Meredith will manage the Office of the CEO, working for president and CEO Jim Mulhern and in tandem with NMPF’s senior leadership.

BeverlyHampton“Emily has done a great job for the entire dairy industry with her skillful management of the FARM Program, building producer, processor and customer support, and effectively telling the story of the great job America’s dairy farmers are doing on animal care,” Mulhern said. “Those skills will now be applied more broadly across the Federation’s activities. Emily’s focus and attention to detail will benefit our members and staff as we move forward,” he said.

Meredith had served as NMPF’s vice president of animal care, and manager of the FARM Program, since 2014. She will continue to oversee the FARM Program, with the support of two new staff members who will assume day-to-day management of the program and report to Meredith in her new role.

The new hires include Emily Yeiser Stepp as FARM Program manager, and Beverly Hampton as FARM coordinator.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 9.03.59 AMFor the past four years, Emily Yeiser Stepp served as the dairy initiatives manager for the Center for Dairy Excellence in Harrisburg, Penn. Most recently, she served as the dairy and beef extension coordinator at the University of Maryland.

Yeiser Stepp, of Annapolis, Md., got her start in the dairy industry through the 4-H dairy leasing program. She received a degree in animal science from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s in dairy science from Virginia Tech. Her research was focused on how mastitis and metabolic diseases affect dairy cow behavior.

Beverly Hampton also comes from an agriculture background, as she grew up on her family’s farm and helped run her parent’s agritourism business. She attended North Carolina State University, where she served as a North Carolina State FFA Officer and a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador. She graduated with a degree in poultry science.

While in school, Hampton worked as the communications intern for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. For the past year, Hampton has provided industry technical assistance for U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.

“We are very excited to welcome Emily and Beverly to NMPF and the FARM Program,” said Mulhern. “Their individual experience, expertise and enthusiasm will help ensure that the FARM Program continues to address the needs of farmers, and the entire dairy supply chain.”

Ag Group, Company Announcement, Dairy, NMPF

Passing of Sen. Conrad Burns

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

conrad-burnsSad to hear the news that legendary farm broadcaster and U.S. Senator Conrad Burns has passed away at the age of 81. Conrad founded the Northern Ag Network and was inducted into the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2011.

Burns was born in Northwest Missouri, attended the University of Missouri, served in the US Marine Corps, and eventually joined the Polled Hereford World magazine in Billings, Montana. This work in the livestock business eventually led him to become a cattle auctioneer and as the first manager of the Northern International Livestock Expo. He also began reporting on agriculture news, started a radio show and worked as a farm reporter on television. In 1975, Conrad founded the Northern Ag Network and continually grew the network with additional stations and programming. He served 2 years as a Yellowstone County Commissioner before being elected to the US Senate in 1988. He served 3 terms as US Senator and was a champion for legislation effecting broadcast, agriculture and energy policy.

The Northern Ag Network expressed its deepest condolences to the entire Burns family. “It is through his vision that the Northern Ag Network got it start and has been the Powerful Voice of the West for the last 40 years.”

Read the Northern Ag Net story on the late, great Conrad Burns and watch his NAFB Hall of Fame video. You can also listen to his comments from the 2011 NAFB awards banquet.

Government, Media, NAFB

I AM USFRA – Poultry and Egg Industry

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

i-am-usfra-webPerhaps more than much of agriculture, the poultry industry has been the target of animal rights advocates and others who have tried to damage the image of their products in the eyes of consumers. That’s why the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY) was one of the founding organizations for the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), to join with others in agriculture in a dialogue about food production.

uspoultry-henderson“The poultry industry is committed to producing a wholesome, safe, sustainable supply of poultry to consumers that’s healthy and tastes good,” says Monty Henderson, former chairman of USPOULTRY who now represents the industry on the board of USFRA. “With all the noise out there today, USFRA is carrying that message to consumers for us.”

Henderson says one of the USFRA initiatives that he believes has been most effective in getting agriculture’s message to consumers is the Faces of Farming and Ranching. “USFRA goes out and selects four or five young farmers that represent conventional agriculture and are in different geographic locations across the country,” said Henderson. “Those young farmers are very involved in social media and they attend a lot of Food Dialogues and represent the farmers producing our food.”

Henderson has been in the poultry business for many years, starting as a broiler service manager with Tyson Foods and later with Campbell Soup Company. He served as president of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and in 1994 joined George’s, Inc., as president and CEO where he retired in 2010. In addition to serving as a past chairman for U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, Henderson has served on the Board of Directors for the National Chicken Council and as a director of the American Egg Board. “I think USFRA that I know of in my career that represents all segments of farming,” he says. “That’s one of the reasons that we are so active in it.”

Listen to my interview with Monty here: Interview with Monty Henderson, USFRA board member for poultry

Audio, Poultry, USFRA

Zimfo Bytes

Talia Goes Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • Penton Agriculture, the nation’s most powerful ag information network, announces the addition of veteran web content developer, blogger and journalist Eric Braun to manage its digital content direction.
  • Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen to participate in the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Emerging Leaders Program for 2016-17.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $22 million in grants to help citrus producers fight Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease.
  • Farms.com and Ag Media Inc. announced that Farms.com has acquired a majority interest in Ag Media Inc., publishers of Better Farming Magazine.
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is soliciting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program.
  • Any academic or research institution, private or public organization, corporate entity, or governmental unit may submit a nomination for The World Food Prize until May 1.
Zimfo Bytes

Harden Announced as Keynote Speaker at ASTA Annual

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

ASTA-OregonThe ASTAOregon Seed Association Annual Convention is coming up June 18-22. The event will be held in Portland, Oregon and will kick off with a keynote address from the Former Deputy Secretary of the USDA, Krysta Harden. Harden recently joined DuPont as the Vice President of Public Policy and Chief Sustainability Officer. She will be sharing lessons from her experiences in the public and private sectors and present her vision of the future of the seed industry.

Also scheduled for the convention are a 5K Run/Walk and and Exhibit area, along with sessions, committee meetings and working groups. The Convention Registration Brochure contains a full listing of all the fun and fascinating events taking place. You can register now to keep up with the latest in the seed industry.

Agribusiness, ASTA, Events, Seed

BASF Launches #GrowSmart University

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

basf-grow-smartBASF Crop Protection is all about helping farmers grow smarter and to that end has announced the launch of a new online educational resource – Grow Smart™ University.

Grow Smart University is designed to connect growers and industry professionals with agronomic and agribusiness content and offers an extensive library of farm management information, according to Paul Leeland, Product Manager, BASF. “Growers face increasingly complex situations in farming, and many look to the Web for answers,” said Leeland. “Grow Smart University helps provide necessary educational resources to make informed decisions.”

Content is available in videos, e-books, industry expert webinars, educational modules and flashcards to accommodate a variety of learning-style preferences. All materials are categorized by topic, allowing visitors to delve deep into a variety of subjects. Crop-specific courses cover best practices from seed to harvest, while courses on general agricultural principles focus on whole issues, such as plant health or agribusiness. New content is uploaded regularly to keep visitors abreast of new issues and technologies in the industry.

“Grow Smart University is a tool as flexible as the growers who use it,” Leeland said. “By having on-demand access to education, growers can operate on their own schedule to learn about new developments and tools to help their operation.”

BASF’s Grow Smart approach helps growers get the most out of every acre by combining the best partnerships, resources and risk-reduction tools to build customized plans focused on individual operations. With teamwork at its core, Grow Smart is a better way to do business.

Gain access to Grow Smart University by logging in at www.growsmartuniversity.com.

BASF, Crop Protection, Education

New Holland Sponsors Awards for NCBA Recruitment

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ncba-200The Kansas Livestock Association and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association each earned use of a piece of equipment from New Holland Agriculture for their outstanding efforts to recruit new members to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Each of these NCBA affiliates will get its choice of a one-year lease on a New Holland Roll-Belt™ 560 Specialty Crop round baler or a one-year lease on a New Holland T6 175 tractor. The organizations received their awards at the NCBA’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., April 12-14.

“New Holland appreciates the work of state affiliates to help strengthen the grassroots membership and give the cattle industry a louder voice,” said Mark Lowrey, New Holland Regional Market Specialist.

New_Holland_AgricultureThe Kansas Livestock Association automatically earned one of these leases for recruiting the most NCBA members for the contest period, which lasted from Jan. 1 through March 31. Also in the top five state affiliates for NCBA membership recruitment were: Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, California Cattlemen’s Association, and Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association.

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association was the winner of the drawing of the 16 qualifying affiliates, which included: Arizona Cattle Feeders Association, California Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Livestock Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Illinois Beef Association, Kansas Livestock Association, Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, Washington Cattle Feeders Association and Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association.

“It was great to see so many cattle producers in D.C for the Legislative Conference, visiting with their legislators on behalf of cattlemen and women throughout the country,” said Lowrey. “These producers and the NCBA affiliates are important to the success of NCBA and the beef industry. New Holland is proud of the opportunity to reward these affiliates for their continued support of NCBA membership programs by awarding affiliates for their recruitment work.”

Agribusiness, Beef, Equipment, NCBA, New Holland

3 Top Tips for Recycling Farm Waste

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Earth Day may have come and gone but it’s always a good time to be kind to Mother Earth and recycling is one such way.

Farm waste can often contain some of the most recyclable materials around. Organic materials, animal manure and dirty straw and hay can all be used to make materials such as compost, which can be then put back into the earth for growing crops, plants, vegetables and more. Are you wondering what to do with the waste on your farm? Or even the waste from your kitchen? There are many different ways in which you can recycle your farmland waste materials, whether it be putting them back into your farm or handing them over to a recycling company who can distribute recyclable items to the best place.

Kitchen waste for composting.

Kitchen waste for composting.

Many farm waste materials can be re-used in some way or another on the farm. For example, animal waste can be used to make compost – especially horse manure, which has long been known for its garden-growing properties – gardeners will even buy horse manure from you to put on their roses! Apart from putting the recyclable farm waste back into the farm, you can also give any left over to a waste collection company who can recycle the waste for you. Landfills are no longer commonly used on farms due to the environmental consequences and the landfill tax, which is why more and more farmers are turning to waste collection companies such as Countrystyle Recycling. If you have hazardous waste, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding its safe disposal.

I don't live on a farm but I do recycle waste. This is a mixed-media art piece that I made from "re-used" materials. How do you recycle your waste?

I don’t live on a farm but I do recycle waste. This is a mixed-media art piece that I made from “re-used” materials. How do you recycle your waste? Share your stores in the comment section.

Wood is a highly recyclable product that is often used in the running of many farms across the UK. Whether you have a surplus of wooden pallets, old fencing that you’re replacing or wooden frames and furniture, it makes more sense to recycle old wooden products than it does to simply throw them away. If you have a wood burning fire, you’re probably already planning on using your old wood to keep your home nice and warm. Wooden pallets also make great DIY furniture ideas, and even if you’re not going to use them yourself, you can sell them on or give them away for this purpose. Wood shavings also make excellent bedding for animals who can’t use regular straw.

Food Waste
Many farms in the UK grow their own food products, either for personal use, to sell in a farm shop or market, or even to sell to commercial buyers. However, not all food products make the cut – and many are put into waste if they cannot be sold on or consumed. But, food waste is highly recyclable and being biodegradable, makes excellent compost which can be sold to garden centres, at farmer’s markets and even used on your own crops, plants and veg allotments. If you get a lot of food waste, you can also arrange for a waste collection company to come and remove it, taking it to a recycling plant where they can recycle and distribute it accordingly.

Do you run or work on a farm? Do you have your own garden? How do you recycle the different types of waste? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Education, Environment, Food, Sustainability

New Group is Growing Global Solutions

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 510We’ve been in the agricultural communications business for a very, very long time and we are very blessed that so many of the people we started in the business with are still involved, so it’s always nice to touch base with good friends we have known from the beginning who are starting new ventures.

janice-dahlWe were happy to hear from Janice Dahl last week who has just started a new non-profit called Growing Global Solutions. Those of you who have been in the business for awhile may know Janice from either her time with the American Sheep Industry Association, where she worked as communications manager for 11 years, or more recently as executive director of the United Soybean Board, where she served for nine years. Janice has more than 25 years of experience in leading non-profits in the areas of management, communications, strategy and goal-setting and now she is turning that proficiency toward improving the efficiency of agriculture and health organizations to combat poverty and improve quality of life.

logoIn this week’s ZimmCast, Janice tells us all about GGS, which believes in bringing change through better organizations with an emphasis on strategy development, project management and evaluation, communication analysis, leadership development, and – most importantly – giving back.

Learn more about Growing Global Solutions in this week’s ZimmCast: ZimmCast with Janice Dahl, Growing Global Solutions

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

The ZimmCast

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The ZimmCast podcast is sponsored by GROWMARK
Locally owned, globally strong.
Ag Group, Audio, ZimmCast

AgCareers.com Releases New Updates

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The AgCareers.com Job Seeker mobile app has gotten an upgrade on both its Apple and Android platforms.  New updates mean significant changes to enhance the search process.

AgCareersThe app, which as been available since 2013, now includes better search criteria, equating to more accurate results.  Seekers can narrow down available jobs through keywords, location, industry sector, industry type, career type and even by specific employer.  Users can now also create an account with a job seeker profile; something that couldn’t be accomplished in the previous version.

The app is now capable of uploading a resume as well, a job which required a computer in the past.  Resumes can be uploaded through Google Drive or DropBox, creating three methods for users to apply for a job: logging in, creating a profile, or as a guest with no profile.

The new ability to save search criteria for use in the future can also save users time.  It is also now possible to share a job opening via email, Twitter or Facebook.

You can access these updates from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

AgCareers, Agribusiness, Apps