Dr. Adrian Percy Joins Finistere Ventures

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmComm congratulates Dr. Adrian Percy, former head of R&D for the Crop Science Division of Bayer, for his new role as Chief Technology Officer for Finistere Ventures. Adrian will provide strategic, technical and regulatory guidance for current portfolio companies. He will also support Finistere’s continued investment efforts, working with the team to identify and evaluate potential opportunities. Adrian is pictured with Arama Kukutai, a co-founder and partner at Finistere Ventures.

As part of the appointment, he will be joining the Boards of two Finistere-backed companies, BioLumic and Hi Fidelity Genetics (also based in Research Triangle), and will play a pivotal role in helping shape their ongoing research and development strategies, as well as supporting their partnership and commercialization efforts.

Adrian Percy noted: “We need to completely transform our agricultural and food production systems so we can ensure food security for all, meet evolving consumer demands and conserve our planet’s precious resources for many generations to come. I am excited to continue to contribute to this ecosystem by helping talented and passionate entrepreneurs drive meaningful change in the food and agriculture space through technology innovations.”

I spoke with Adrian just now as he is on his way to the first of what sounds like many flights around the world in his new job with Finistere Ventures. Interview with Dr. Adrian Percy

AgWired Precision, Audio, Technology

Text 24365 to Donate to NAMA Foundation

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

With the NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) Foundation serving 33 student chapters, your support has never been more important. Here is a new way to donate.

Please text “NAMA” to 24365 to donate to the foundation and support Student NAMA!

That will text you back a link to click on and donate via Paypal. Simple. Quick. Try it now.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Education, Marketing, NAMA

Animal Ag Bites 3/25

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Last week, USDA-trained detector dogs played a major role in the seizure of roughly 1 million pounds of pork smuggled from China where there is an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF). Since prevention is the best protection against the disease, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is sharing information about the importance of keeping ASF out of the United States. To help people learn more about this disease, as well as the steps that can be taken to help protect U.S. pigs, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has updated its web content with additional information and links to partners’ resources. This information is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/swine/asf.
  • The National Pork Board and Ripe Technology, Inc. have entered an agreement to pilot blockchain technology use in the U.S. pork industry. Through this partnership, ripe.io will enable an ecosystem that will allow pork producers to monitor, evaluate and continuously improve their sustainability practices based on the We CareSM framework – six defined ethical principles guiding the U.S. pork industry.
  • The National Pork Board is collaborating with South Dakota State University to “open the barn doors” on how pigs are raised. The Pork Checkoff’s Operation Main Street speakers can include live-streaming video tours of SDSU’s Swine Education and Research Center, in Brookings, South Dakota, in presentations to local civic groups, culinary and pre-vet students, dietitians, chefs and others.
  • The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program will produce new equine content, thanks to a recent grant from the Illinois Equine Research and Promotion Board. In total, $10,000 was awarded to Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom to support costs related to a new Horse Ag Mag.
  • According to new research from The Center for Food Integrity, online engagement about antibiotic resistance is growing rapidly and could be one of a growing number of factors that drives consumers to reduce or eliminate meat from their diets.
  • In a basic survey of more than a thousand pork kidney samples, almost no veterinary drug residues were found and none at levels that even approached U. S. regulatory limits, according to a study just published by an Agricultural Research Service scientist in Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program now have the opportunity to participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy for 2018 coverage. Sign-up will take place March 25 through May 10, 2019. Eligible producers can enroll during the sign-up period at their local USDA service center. To locate your office, visit farmers.gov.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

MillerCoors Suing Bud Light over Corn Syrup Ads

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

MillerCoors has now filed a lawsuit against Bud Light brand owner Anheuser-Busch over the controversial corn syrup commercials which farmers have complained about and which are still running, despite the company’s external efforts to mend fences with the agricultural community.

“Anheuser-Busch is fearmongering over a common beer ingredient it uses in many of its own beers, as a fermentation aid that is not even present in the final product,” MillerCoors said in a statement. “This deliberate deception is bad for the entire beer category.”

Earlier this week, Anheuser-Busch was a top level sponsor at the Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit, with a display highlighting the crops they use in their products, including corn. Jess Newman, Director of U.S. Agronomy for A-B, had a chance to address the summit and stressed their rice and barley research efforts, but said little about corn and nothing about the ads. The company approached Agri-Pulse requesting to be part of the event shortly after the controversy over the Super Bowl ad erupted and has never been a sponsor prior to this year.

Listen to Newman’s comments here:
Agri-Pulse19 Anheuser Busch agronomist Jess Newman

Agri-Pulse, Audio, Corn

Panel Explores Future at Agri-Pulse Summit

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Shaping Farm and Food Policy Strategies for 2040” was the theme for the Agri-Pulse 2019 Ag and Food Policy Summit this week in Washington D.C. and the first panel of the day considered what the future might hold for farm land ownership, management, and crop production.

Farm broadcaster Jeff Nalley moderated the panel which included Syngenta Seeds president David Hollinrake; Randy Dickhut, Senior VP, Farmers National; and Dan Kowalski, VP of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

Listen to their insights here: Agri-Pulse 2019 Summit panel 1

Listen to an interview with David Hollinrake here: Interview with Syngenta Seeds President David Hollinrake

2019 Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit Photo Album

Agri-Pulse, Audio, Seed, Syngenta, Technology

Zimfo Bytes 3/22

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • New Ag International hosts three conferences at the same location during “High-Tech Ag Week” March 25-29 in Dublin, Ireland. Click here for more information or to register.
  • A new Farm Foundation Issue Report highlights the role of the judicial branch in the system of checks and balances created by the nation’s founders. The report, “Agriculture and the Judicial Branch: The Third Leg of Governance,” was co-authored by Karen Carr, a partner at Arent Fox LLP, and Megan Provost, vice president of policy and programs at Farm Foundation.
  • The winner of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet, announced at the Farm Bureau FUSION Conference, is Kylie Bruce of Georgia.
  • The American Farm Bureau Federation recently honored 10 outstanding young farm and ranch leaders as graduates of the organization’s ninth Partners in Advocacy Leadership class. Graduates of PAL Class 9 are: Angi Bailey, Oregon; John Boelts, Arizona; April Clayton, Washington; Becca Ferry, Utah; Amy France, Kansas; Amelia Kent, Louisiana; Matt Niswander, Tennessee; James O’Brien, Texas; Tyson Roberts, Utah; and Jamie Tiralla, Maryland.
  • Chris Grogan is the new Publications and Media Relations Manager at GROWMARK. He takes over for Matt Wettersten who accepted a position as Audio Visual Manager with the Illinois Farm Bureau.
  • The Renewable Fuels Association announced Technical Services Manager Missy Ruff was recently unanimously elected to the TRANSCAER® Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, which manages the TRANSCAER® program, is comprised of six seats. Ruff will serve a two-year term.
  • Adrian Percy, PhD, the former head of R&D for the Crop Science Division of Bayer, joined Finistere Ventures as Chief Technology Officer.
  • American Farmland Trust, the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®, announces its partnership with Seal the Seasons, maker of frozen produce sourced from local farms, to share the story of American Farmland Trust’s work in the regions where they source their products.
  • WATT Global Media announces the addition of three new staff members, Holly Nester, Jim Winter and Martine Landry.
  • Two business leaders from the People’s Republic of China visited the National Corn Growers Association’s St. Louis office to discuss the U.S. corn industry and NCGA’s role in working to create opportunities for corn farmers.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, invites the public to register to attend the first meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The meeting will be held at USDA headquarters in the Jefferson Auditorium on March 28th and 29th. Registration for in-person attendance closes at 5:00 p.m. March 26, 2019. Please visit DietaryGuidelines.gov for registration details.
Zimfo Bytes

Ethanol Report on Fueling Knowledge

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Spring is here at last and after a rough winter in most of the country there are lots of people ready to hit the road and enjoy some warmer weather activities, like motorcycle riding and fishing, for example.

In this episode of the Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White talks about some of the ways they are helping people fuel their knowledge about ethanol as the nation hopefully moves toward E15 being available for the summer driving season.

Ethanol Report on Fueling Knowledge

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Audio, Ethanol, Podcasts, RFA

New Specialty Soya Alliance Names Executive Director

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The new Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) now has an executive director.

Eric Wenberg has been named executive director of the organization and began work on Monday with meetings in Washington, D.C. and a visit to the 2019 Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit. He is pictured here, second from right, with (LtoR) former American Soybean Association president and Delaware farmer Richard Wilkins, former USDA-NRCS chief and conservation consultant Bruce Knight, and Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka.

Wenberg comes to SSGA after retiring as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, and following a twenty eight-year career with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) serving in American Embassies in Ottawa, Pretoria, Warsaw and Moscow. He was active abroad assisting U.S. agricultural businesses exports, negotiating trade agreements, settling disputes with foreign governments, and speaking and publishing reports on foreign agricultural conditions.

“SSGA is positioned to drive efficiency and create opportunity in the identity-preserved soy and grain sector, and help businesses and farmers enjoy the price premium they can earn with their hard work fulfilling those consumers’ demands,” said Wenberg.

I had a chance to meet Eric at the summit on Monday and do a brief interview with him to learn more about the recently announced alliance between the Midwest Shippers Association (MSA) and the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA).

Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance Executive Director Eric Wenberg

2019 Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit Photo Album

Agri-Pulse, Agribusiness, Audio, Grains, Soybean

Mid-South Growers Interested in FMC’s Lucento

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Farmers at the 2019 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show showed a lot of interest in FMC’s new Lucento™ fungicide because of its high performing disease control in soybeans and peanuts. The new product is also approved for corn, wheat and sugarbeets.

“Growers reward innovation and this is a product that’s truly innovative,” said Matthew Wiggins, FMC technical service manager for the region. “It’s two modes of action on our key diseases.”

Learn more about Lucento in this interview from MSFGS 2019.
Interview with Matthew Wiggins, FMC Lucento


2019 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show Photo Album

Audio, Farm & Gin Show, FMC, Fungicide

CropLife America Supports Science Behind Glyphosate

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

CropLife America president and CEO Chris Novak is hopeful that science will prevail in the end when it comes to legal and regulatory challenges to products such as glyphosate.

“The thing that we can rely upon is the science conducted by, not just the U.S. regulatory agencies, …but most all of our chemistries are approved and in use in countries around the world,” said Novak in an interview at the Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit this week in Washington DC. “When you start to take a look at the safety profile of glyphosate, there’s a strong story to be told.”

CropLife America was a major sponsor of the Agri-Pulse summit. Listen to my interview with Chris here: Agri-Pulse 2019 Summit Interview with Chris Novak, CropLife America

2019 Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit Photo Album

Agri-Pulse, Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Award, CropLife America