NPPC Urges Senate Action on Relief for Hog Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) hosted a press briefing Thursday with four pork producers to talk about the need for immediate aid and urge the U.S. Senate to adopt livestock agriculture provisions included in COVID-relief legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. Additionally, U.S. pork producers face staggering costs for the millions of hogs that will be euthanized as pigs back up on farms due to ongoing bottlenecks in the pork supply chain.

Participating in the briefing were:

NPPC president Howard A.V. Roth, Wisconsin
Iowa producer Mike Paustian
Minnesota producer Kevin Hugoson
Illinois producer Chad Leman

Listen to their stories here:
NPPC producers need COVID-relief (17:40)

Audio, NPPC, Pork

Precision Ag News 5/27

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • HELM Agro US, Inc. and Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd., have entered into a long-term collaboration for the commercial development of three novel crop protection herbicides. Under the initiative, HELM will partner with ISK Biosciences Corporation of Concord, Ohio, a subsidiary of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, in the commercial development of the new market offerings beginning in 2020.
  • FMC Corporation announced the launch of Arc™ farm intelligence, an exclusive precision agriculture platform that enables growers and advisors to more accurately predict pest pressure before it becomes a problem. Arc™ farm intelligence is the first mobile platform to use predictive modeling based on real-time data to help ensure the right crop protection products are applied precisely where and when they are needed to improve sustainability, optimize crop yield and enhance grower return on investment.
  • Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc.® is reinventing its Onion Idea Exchange (iX) event, which was to take place in mid-April in Donna, Texas. Instead, the company is bringing those same onion fields and the innovative insights and information that was to be shared on those fields to life through
  • Six early-stage companies have been selected to participate in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a technology incubator and platform. Each company participating in the second cohort of this invitation-only program will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to further develop and validate its technology with scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest nonprofit independent plant science institute. IN2 is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

GROWMARK Intern Program Goes Virtual

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

GROWMARK‘s legacy internship program that just celebrated 60 years will continue this year with a little change – the program will primarily operate virtually in an effort to keep interns and employees safe. The 2020 interns who will spend the next few weeks learning from professionals in the GROWMARK/FS System were recently welcomed to the program via video chat by GROWMARK CEO Jim Spradlin.

Thirty college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK Interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Ontario, Canada; as well as the GROWMARK corporate office in Bloomington, IL, and GROWMARK FS in the northeast.

The interns are exposed to accounting, marketing, and product and service-related activities. Each intern will complete a business-related project and deliver a presentation on their project at the conclusion of their internships.

The GROWMARK internship program began in 1959 with three interns. Since then, more than 1,300 students have been involved in the program.

Education, GROWMARK, Intern

Farm Credit Shares Produce Farmers’ COVID-19 Challenges

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Like every other sector of agriculture, fruit and vegetable producers are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic response. Many farmers around the country have experienced devastating losses from the shutdown of the foodservice supply chain and slowdown at retail.

Farm Credit held a webinar panel discussion last week with specialty crop producers on the challenges they are facing. Participants included Toby Basore from the largest lettuce farm east of the Mississippi River, Sean Gilbert from an apple/cherry/stone fruit operation in Washington and Savannah Gillis Turner from a diversified onion and green chile farm in New Mexico. They discussed labor and market issues, along with their plans for the future.

Listen here:
Farm Credit specialty crop producers

Audio, Farm Credit, fruit, Produce, specialty crops, Vegetables

Animal Ag News 5/26

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2020 Stakeholder Summit, themed “Primed & Prepared,” equipped food and agriculture stakeholders with the tools needed to bridge the gap between farm and fork. The Alliance hit an attendance record with 515 attendees registering for the first-ever virtual Summit, held May 7-8.
  • Dairy Management Inc. and checkoff partner Pizza Hut are joining forces to give away half a million pizzas to Class of 2020 high school graduates. The promotion was officially announced on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on May 21. The segment can be viewed at this link.
  • As Americans fired up their grills for Memorial Day, Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. highlighted the hard-working beef farmers and ranchers who make grilling season possible in a new video, released Memorial Day weekend.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the industry should have a conversation about imports and where we’re sourcing beef, but it’s important that the conversation be rooted in facts, not back of the envelope estimates using data from nearly a decade prior. Current USDA data available here projects current U.S. beef import numbers for 2020 at 1.334 million metric tons, while domestic consumption is estimated at 12.389 million metric tons, amounting to imports totaling 11 percent of U.S. beef consumption during 2020.
  • Any successful poultry operation is dependent on the success of its hatchery-breeder management. USPOULTRY’s Hatchery-Breeder Clinic brings attendees up to date on best management practices, biosecurity challenges, vaccinations and other topics related to chick quality. This year’s seminar will be held July 8-9 at the DoubleTree Nashville Downtown, a Hilton property, in Nashville, Tennessee. As USPOULTRY is currently planning to move forward with the seminar, the health and safety of everyone who attends is a top priority. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local governments regarding COVID-19 will be followed, and regular updates will be provided to all stakeholders if the situation warrants.
  • The National Bison Association welcomed the news that the Government of Mexico has formally opened its doors to import U.S.–produced bison meat into that country. The move formally opens the doors to a new market for U.S. bison meat.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

ZimmCast 646 – The Alltech ONE Virtual Experience

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast.

This week’s program provides a wrap-up of the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience. This virtual experience took place throughout the week with daily keynote speakers and focus sessions and more. All of this was available on-demand and still is. In fact, you can still register and new content will be made available each month until the 2021 event.

In the program I talk with Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech President/CEO, who provides a summary of how the event unfolded and some key takeaways. I also share my interview with event keynoter, Dr. Frank Mitloehner, UC-Davis, who spoke on Clearing the Air: Debunking the Myths of Agriculture.

The Alltech ONE Virtual Experience provides a template for how engaging and entertaining a virtual conference can be. Please feel free to check it out.

That’s the ZimmCast for this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 646 - The Alltech ONE Virtual Experience

Subscribe to the ZimmCast in:

Agribusiness, Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Animal Health, Audio, Technology, ZimmCast

Industry Ag News 5/22

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The National FFA Organization has developed the FFA COVID-19 Chapter Assistance Program to help chapters in these uncertain times. Cargill, a 60-year partner of FFA, announced today that they will contribute $500,000 to the program to assist chapters. This contribution is part of Cargill’s $35 million commitment to COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts and specifically to Cargill’s North America Protein support for partners focusing on agriculture communities, farmers and ranchers.
  • Michael Torrey Associates welcomed Cassandra Kuball and Perry Harlow to its team this week. The Washington, D.C. based firm offers effective government relations, strategic communications and issue advocacy as well as full-service association management to a growing number of clients in the food, agriculture, and forestry sector.
  • U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12), the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Illinois, the Illinois Farm Bureau, and the Illinois AgrAbility announced a partnership to provide job opportunities for Illinois veterans. Farm Corps will pair furloughed or unemployed veterans with agricultural producers who have an immediate need for on-the-farm labor.
  • The confluence of available corn-based feedstocks and consumer demand represents an opportunity for stakeholders in the sustainable biomaterials industry and will help drive demand for corn. The National Corn Growers Association is working to establish new uses of corn and demonstrating corn as the clear feedstock of choice.
  • American Vanguard® Corporation and AMVAC®, an American Vanguard company, welcome Glen Donald as the director of portfolio management and business development. Glen will be replacing Neil DeStefano who is retiring.
  • UnitedAg has partnered with Spring Health to offer high-touch, comprehensive, and multilingual behavioral health services to our membership. UnitedAg recognizes the financial burdens individuals and companies are currently facing and is providing this additional benefit at zero cost to our employers and plan participants.
  • Cotton Council International announces that it has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and will use the group’s sustainability measurement suite of tools, the Higg Index, to drive environmental and social responsibility throughout its supply chain.
  • COVID-19 continues to change the way people around the world live, work, and play. In the midst of the pandemic, volunteers and staff at the International Agri-Center® are planning for the 2021 edition of World Ag Expo® to continue to serve agricultural exhibitors and attendees.
  • Beck Ag, Inc. announced the appointment of Jeff Taber as the company’s new Vice President of Commercial Execution. The announcement came from Beck Ag CEO Richard Bettison and was effective May 1.
  • Trader PhD is excited to welcome Delaney Howell to the team. Howell will join the team as Director of Marketing and Media Engagement to accelerate the amount of knowledge and information that is delivered to Trader PhD’s farmer/rancher subscribers.
Zimfo Bytes

Alltech ONE Brings Together 23,000

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

Alltech‘s annual conference was always a pretty good-sized international event, regularly drawing over 3,500 attendees from 70 countries.

This year, the company made history with the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience attracting over 23,000 participants from 117 countries.

“This is a number that we never could have dreamed to bring together in a physical format,” said Alltech president and CEO Mark Lyons in his closing keynote.

The virtual experience began this week with on-demand focus sessions, streaming keynote presentations and live Q&A chats with select speakers, and Lyons says that will continue each month with new content for attendees – and best of all, you can join anytime. “This is what we wanted to create, this community of the ONE Virtual Experience to be year round,” said Lyons in a wrap up interview. “We have 23,000 now, I’d like to grow that to double by next May.”

Listen to Lyons’ closing keynote and wrap up interview below:
Planet of Plenty: We’re in this Together
Alltech ONE Virtual closing keynote Dr. Mark Lyons (33:36)

Alltech ONE Virtual wrap up interview Dr. Mark Lyons (15:02)

Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Audio

AAEA May Podcast – Adapting to Change

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

AAEA PodcastThe May AAEA Agricultural Communicators Network Podcast is now available. The topic is “Adapting to Change” and moderated by Katie Navarra, AAEA Podcast Host. I was very happy to participate in this episode.

Media businesses are having to adjust to a “new normal” amidst the coronavirus pandemic. In this episode, Progressive Farmer Editor-in-Chief, Gregg Hillyer, Chuck Zimmerman of ZimmComm New Media and Barb Anderson, a freelancer who owns Anderson & Associates, share how they have adapted their business models in response to COVID-19 while offering tips for forging ahead.

We shared some common responses to some of Katie’s questions. Here are a couple and how I responded.

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your business model?

Yes it has. Canceled conferences/events, significant reduction in projects due to budget constraints, inability to visit in-person at offices/facilities.

What advice would you offer to the ag communicators tuning into the podcast?

Realize that although this is an unprecedented situation we’re in, we will get through it. Find ways to stay positive and talk with people important to you who will listen and offer ideas you might not think of.

You can find links to listen/subscribe to the podcast on this page.

AAEA, Audio, Media, Podcasts

Examining the Environmental Hoofprint of Beef

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

While COVID-19 is presenting plenty of short-term challenges for the cattle industry, Alltech’s Dr. Vaughn Holder remains focused on a bigger picture of providing food security for a rapidly growing global population.

“The fact of the matter is that ruminants are the only animals that are able to convert feeds that are inedible to humans to actual high quality products that humans can eat, so I don’t see the beef or the dairy industry going away anytime soon,” said Holder, who serves as director for Alltech’s ruminant research group.

Holder said current research is looking at the way introducing total replacement minerals and enzyme technologies can reduce the carbon footprint on cattle farms and feedlots, resulting in better consequences for the environment. In light of COVID-19, the group is also looking at things like improving the antioxidant systems and immune systems of animals to better prepare for future challenges to the supply chain.

Holder presented during the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience.

Dr. Vaughn Holder, Alltech

AgWired Animal, Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Beef, Dairy