Craft Beer Galore at Alltech Festival

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is your favorite type of craft beer?”

We have a very wide array of results from out most recent ZimmPoll. It is clear all these craft brews are needed to satisfy all our taste buds. Wheat topped our poll, but after attending the recent Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest, I’m a big fan of a Kolsch. The 2nd annual event brought in over 4,000 attendees tasting 180 different beers from 51 breweries. 350 beers entered the Alltech Commonwealth Cup competition, but there was only one winner. Batch 100, a Belgian-style ale filtered, tank conditioned and made with candy sugar from The Dayton Beer Company of Dayton, Ohio took home the 2015 trophy.

alltech-brewsHere are the poll results:

  • IPA – 12%
  • Amber Ale – 15%
  • Stout – 9%
  • Porter – 4%
  • Barley Wine – 2%
  • Brown Ale – 0%
  • American Pale Ale – 3%
  • Wheat – 18%
  • Belgium – 3%
  • Bourbon Barrel Ale – 4%
  • Bock – 5%
  • Kolsch – 0%
  • Irish Red Ale – 2%
  • All of the above – 9%
  • Other – 14%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What should Congress do about COOL?

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) has been a hot topic in ag circles for quite some time, but this week especially. The House Agriculture Committee approved legislation to effectively repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork, and chicken. Now it is time for Congress to decide the fate of COOL. Where do you stand on this issue?


Changing Media ZimmCast from Alltech REBELation

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 475It has been interesting to see some of the tweets and Facebook posts following my panel discussion on The Changing Face of Media during the Alltech REBELation. I was hoping a lively discussion with good audience questions would stir up some debate and feedback.

In this week’s program I’m sharing interviews with Frank Mulrennan, Celtic Media Group, who moderated our panel discussion and Damien O’Reilly, RTE. Damien did not get to participate in our panel due to airline issues. But I wanted to let him have an opportunity to share thoughts he had prepared on the topic.

Interestingly, our panelists seemed to agree on more than they disagreed on. Even traditional media companies today are using what we refer to as new media (podcasts, blogs, social media). The bottom line is that because of technology changes we have a lot more channels for the distribution of news and information than ever and many of them don’t require that information to go through an intermediary. Now the public and companies can speak directly to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

I hope you’ll enjoy this week’s program.

ZimmCast on the Changing Face of Media: Changing Face of Media

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

The ZimmCast

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Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio, Media, ZimmCast

REBELS – Challenged to Think Differently

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.18.35 AMAlltech REBELation is in the books, but that doesn’t mean our wheels should stop spinning. This week attendees have been sent home with a challenge. A challenge to see the world as it is by embracing risks, taking action and seeing rewards. Dr. Pearse Lyons told us to “do what makes our hearts sing” and to “never say never.” Innovation is at our finger tips. Dr. Mark Lyons reminded us that in order to be REBELS we have to welcome technology, seek collaboration and remember speed matters.

Elizabeth Bagby, Corporate Marketing Manager, Alltech sat down with me as the event wrapped up announcing that over 3,000 attendees helped make the event a success, while representing 68 countries. “For years in agriculture we have said we will just tell the consumer what they want and that’s just not the world of today. The world of today is them telling us what they want and us telling them how we can make it different and maybe offering something in advance of them telling us.”

She believes part of being a REBEL is thinking differently and giving the consumers not only what they want now, but what they will want in the future. “We have people who are going to challenge us in different ways. The comments I am hearing now are, what can I do personally, how can I bring this to my own operation so we can make positive change to feeding the world.”

The Alltech team has already started thinking about next year, so it’s not too early to go ahead and mark your calendars for May 22-25, 2016. A conference doesn’t have to be boring and Alltech events are far from boring. I have no doubt next year’s conference will be bigger and better than ever before.

Listen to my complete interview with Elizabeth here: Interview with Elizabeth Bagby, Alltech

Don’t forget to check out photos from the event here: 2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio

Get Hooked Up with James Wesley

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

James Wesley Hooked UpI became a James Wesley fan when he sang “Thank a Farmer.” Now he’s got a song about saltwater fishing so he’s adding to the list of songs I like – Hooked Up. This came to my attention via Keep America Fishing:

Country music star James Wesley has a new song and it celebrates the thrill of the catch – and the big one that got away! “Hooked Up” tells the story of fishermen chasing a blue marlin at the Big Rock, a legendary fishing spot off the coast of Morehead City, NC.

Wesley is no stranger to fishing. “When I’m notJames Boat busy touring, I enjoy being outdoors and spending time fishing with my family,” he said. “I’ve never actually landed a blue marlin at the Big Rock, but it is a long-time dream of mine.”

But this song will do more than get you in the mood to get out on the water – it helps you give back to the resource.

Wesley and his partners at Calcutta are donating a portion of proceeds from every iTunes download of “Hooked Up” to KeepAmericaFishing and the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Charities. Just by listening, you’re helping to unite American anglers under one voice and protect our right to fish.

So download James Wesley’s newest hit and support KeepAmericaFishing today.


High Def Corn Planting

Chuck Zimmerman 1 Comment

Via Twitter alert from Robert Frye comes, “Iowa Corn Planting In High Definition.” Robert is obviously a drone pro judging by how he commanded his quad copter to take this gorgeous video. He published it on May 11, 2015.

Here’s how he described it on YouTube:

A “birds-eye-view” of Jim, Matt and Jay’s 2015 corn planting.
Please watch on full screen in full HD.
Please read music credit below.
The music selection title is metaphorical by design.
This video was shot on April 30th and May1st.
Thanks to Jim, Matt and Jay for allowing me to document their planting.
I hope this was not much of an inconvenience for them.
Flown with a DJI Inspire-1 and its 4K camera.
Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro 2014 CC

Music Credit:
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Selection: “In The Beginning”

Watch and enjoy.

Corn, Farming, Gadgets, Planting, UAV, Video

New Board Members for American Farmland Trust

John Davis Leave a Comment

AFTThe American Farmland Trust (AFT) has elected a pair of nationally recognized leaders of agriculture to its board. This news release from the group says Jim Moseley and Greg Watson will join the board this fall.

John Hardin, vice chair of the AFT board said, “Jim Moseley and Greg Watson bring a wealth of agriculture and conservation experience, expertise and leadership to our board. I welcome these distinguished public servants to American Farmland Trust. We look forward to their guidance and input as we undertake critically important projects to preserve farmland, protect critical natural resources, like soil and water, and ensure a future on the land for the men and women who steward our farmland and grow our food and fiber.”

An Indiana native, Jim Moseley served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture from 2001 to 2005, where he oversaw the Department’s diverse daily operations. Following 9/11, he led the team looking at the security needs of the food and agriculture system. And, following his departure from USDA, he helped the U.S. Department of Defense rebuild the agricultural system in Afghanistan. He served as USDA Assistant Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment from 1990 to 1992. Currently, Moseley co-chairs Agree, a food and agricultural policy development initiative. With more than 40 years experience as a farmer, he owns a farm focusing on diversifying agricultural production and conservation.

Greg Watson served as the 19th Commissioner of Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick and also served as Commissioner from 1990 to 1993 under Governors Dukakis and Weld. He currently serves as the Director of Policy and Systems Design at the Schumacher Center for New Economics in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Watson is a leader in issues of sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, new monetary systems, and more. He serves on the boards of Ocean Arks International, Bioneers, and Remineralize The Earth.

Their terms on the board begin at AFT’s October 2015 board meeting.

Ag Group

Congress to Decide Fate of COOL

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

By a vote of 38 to 6, the House Agriculture Committee today approved legislation to effectively repeal country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork, and chicken.

“This bill is a targeted response that will remove uncertainty and restore stability for the United States by bringing us back into compliance,” Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) said. “We will continue working to get this to the House floor as quickly as possible to ensure our economy and a vast range of U.S. industries and the men and women who work for them do not suffer any economic implications of retaliation.”

cool-house-agThe measure is in direct response to the final World Trade Organization ruling Monday against the United States which has triggered renewed debate over the law. Conaway held a press conference yesterday announcing the repeal legislation where he was joined by a bi-partisan group of representatives from a variety of states including Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Rep. Brad Ashford (D-NE), as well as representatives from livestock organizations and other industries that are targets of potential trade retaliation by Canada and Mexico. House Ag COOL presser

mt-testerOn the pro-COOL side, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), joined a group of lawmakers and consumer advocates in denouncing the WTO ruling. “The World Trade Organization ruling undermines the right of American families to know where their food comes from,” said Tester, who is a Montana rancher. “This was a horrible ruling.”

Tester, together with Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) tied the WTO ruling to the current effort in Congress to grant Trade Promotion Authority to move pending trade negotiations forward. “This ruling brings up troubling implications for our international trade agreements,” said DeLauro. “The Administration has claimed that deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would not force us to change our laws or regulations. (Monday’s) decision is proof that they are wrong.” Tester-DeLauro COOL presser

Congress basically has two choices in light of the WTO final ruling: repeal the COOL rule or amend it to possibly create a generic North American label. “It’s up to Congress to figure out what to do,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Vilsack response to COOL ruling

But there is still time for Congress to act, given the steps that Canada or Mexico would have to take in order to put retaliation into effect. Which is why National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson calls the House bill “premature and reactionary” noting that there remains ample opportunity for the administration, Mexico and Canada to negotiate an acceptable path forward. “As has happened with past disputes, WTO members can work together to find a solution that will work for them,” said Johnson.

Audio, Government, Trade

Multi-National Ag Groups Unite for Fair TPP

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ag-groups-wtoAs negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are being held this week, agricultural and food organizations from four nations have come out united in calling for a “modern trade agreement that includes meaningful and comprehensive market access opportunities for agriculture and agri-food.”

The organizations from Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand advocating for an ambitious, fair and comprehensive TPP agreement represent hundreds of thousands of farmers, producers, processors and exporters who, in turn, employ millions of workers across the TPP region.

“A comprehensive agreement would encourage regional supply chains with production and processing occurring where competitive advantages exist,” said Brian Innes, president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance. “However, without a plurilateral agreement, the TPP could actually reduce market access for agri-food exporters.”

“Australian farmers are of the view that this agreement must deliver significant outcomes across the sector and thus across the economy,” National Farmers Federation President Mr. Brent Finlay said. “Agriculture has always been a strong supporter of trade and the benefits it brings across the broader community and the TPP must be seen in that light.”

“New Zealand farmers have always strongly supported the benefits of free trade, which include improved market access and reduce trade barriers for our exports,” added Dr. William Rolleston, president of Federated Farmers of New Zealand. “These barriers to exports reduce the ability of countries, including our own, to trade.”

“The TPP will only fulfill its promise of improved and increased trade in the Pacific region when it eliminates any barriers to trade, including tariff and non-tariff trade barriers,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “U.S. agriculture has high expectations for the TPP, and we are calling on all countries involved to commit to a better agreement and freer trade worldwide.”

The TPP region represents 792 million consumers and 40 percent of world trade while also maintaining a coveted status as an integral part of global value chains. In fact, trade among TPP partners equaled over $2 trillion in 2012. While this number is considerable, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, the Australian National Farmers’ Federation, the American Farm Bureau and the Federated Farmers of New Zealand will continue to call for the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers that currently exist among the member countries in order to increase the value of this trade market through additional sales of agricultural products.

AFBF, Ag Group, Trade

2015 Alltech Young Scientist Awards

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Alltech Young ScientistsDuring the Alltech REBELation the 2015 Alltech Young Scientist Awards were presented. Dr. Aoife Lyons, director of educational initiatives at Alltech, and Dr. Inge Russell, director of the AYS program, presented the awards.

Two university students received awards in the 10th annual Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) program, the largest global contest of its kind that rewards scientific genius and experimental application in agri-science. Students were challenged to submit research studies that demonstrate a keen awareness of science and its applications for improving the future of the world, specifically through agriculture.

Rafal Bialek, a student at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (pictured on right), Poland, won the undergraduate division.

Bialek said, “I am very glad and proud of getting this award. It means that my work is worth something.”

His topic was using photosynthesis to make solar cells. He developed a method for attaching proteins extracted from purple bacteria to titanium dioxide, a widely used compound (for example, as a white dye in paints). Constructed cells, he said, can be utilized to convert solar energy into a current and can be used as a biosensor to detect environmental threats, such as herbicides in water.

Alltech Young ScientistsXiaoqiu (Churchill) Wang, who attends Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, was the graduate winner.

“Worldwide recognition of my current research keeps me inspired,” said Wang, adding that his long-term goal is to be an independent scientist “who makes a seminal discovery that makes a world of difference.”

The goal of his AYS research was to solve what he called “the long-time ignored and mysterious role of high levels of fructose during pregnancy.”

A panel of agriculture industry leaders selected eight finalists from an initial field of nearly 9,000 registrants from 62 countries. The graduate winner received $10,000, and the undergraduate winner received $5,000. Alltech also recognized 46 regional and local award winners, who received up to $2,000 each.

2015 Alltech REBELation Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Education

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