USDA Announces Pandemic Aid for Producers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced implementation of additional aid to agricultural producers and businesses as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, including support to timber harvesters, biofuels producers, dairy farmers and processors, livestock farmers and contract growers of poultry, assistance for organic cost share, and grants for PPE.

“USDA is honoring its commitment to get financial assistance to producers and critical agricultural businesses, especially those left out or underserved by previous COVID aid,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These investments through USDA Pandemic Assistance will help our food, agriculture and forestry sectors get back on track and plan for the future. Since January, USDA has provided more than $11 billion of assistance directly to producers and food and agriculture business.”

In March, USDA announced $6 billion to support a number of new programs or to modify existing efforts. The programs announced today include:
$200 million: Small, family-owned timber harvesting and hauling businesses
$700 million: Biofuels producers
$400 million: New Dairy Donation Program to address food insecurity and mitigate food waste and loss
$580 million: Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage for small and medium farms
Assistance for poultry and livestock producers forced to euthanize animals during the pandemic
$700 million: Pandemic Response and Safety Grants for PPE and other protective measures to help specialty crop growers, meat packers and processors, seafood industry workers, among others
Up to $20 million: Additional organic cost share assistance, including for producers who are transitioning to organic

Biofuels, Dairy, Food, Livestock, Meat, Poultry, USDA

NAMA Announces Top Award Winners

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

NAMA LogoThe National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) has announced the winners of its top annual awards for Agribusiness Leader, Ag Association Leader and Marketer of the Year.

The AgriBusiness Leader of the Year award recognizes outstanding leadership in private, public or academic service and is conferred each year to a senior executive at an agribusiness.

Tim Hassinger is retired Pres/CEO of Dow AgroSciences and Lindsay Corporation. He was raised on a farm in central Illinois and graduated with a degree in Ag Economics from the University of Illinois. One of his last initiatives as at Dow AgroSciences, was leading the company through the merger between The Dow Chemical Company and DuPont which led to the formation of Corteva Agriscience in 2019. In 2017 he joined Lindsay Corp., Omaha, NE, a leading developer of water management solutions for agriculture—including center pivots–as President/CEO. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of Intelinair, the developer of Agmira, a crop monitoring service, and AgData, which provides marketing program management and other services for the crop input, animal health and retail markets.

Ag Association Leader of the Year recognizes outstanding achievement and excellence among senior executives who have made significant contributions to the agriculture industry in their roles with trade association or commodity organization.

Chad Gregory is President/CEO of United Egg Producers (UEP), Alpharetta, GA. A 1993 graduate of Southern Illinois University—Carbondale he joined UEP in 1999 and has served in his present position since 2013.

As the leader of this farmer cooperative, Gregory is charged with working collaboratively to address legislative, regulatory and advocacy issues that impact the industry through active farmer-member leadership. Today, UEP members represent more than 90% of all eggs produced in the U.S.

NAMA Marketer of the Year is awarded to an active member of NAMA and recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the field of agri-marketing.

Amy Bugg is Brand Marketing Lead of AgroLiquid, St. Johns, MI. As an agri-marketer, she has worked in the agricultural industry for more than 25 years from seed, crop protection, animal health and now crop nutrition. Her passion for the industry led to her current role where she leads a 10-person communications and marketing team for the fertilizer company, AgroLiquid.

She led an upbrand initiative with four agency partners that has since achieved 82% brand awareness and familiarity among grower and retailer target audiences just in the first eight months of the new campaign. Not only that, Bugg has directed six product launches with multifaceted campaigns in one year, with two of these launches exceeding marketing forecasts. Key to all of this is Bugg’s passion for great relationships, team building and prioritizing communications goals, objectives and strategies.

All will be honored at the 2021 National Agri-Marketing Conference July 20-22 in Kansas City.

Ag Groups, Agencies, Agribusiness, NAMA

Koch Agronomic Services Completes Acquisition

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Koch Agronomic Services has completed its acquisition of Compass Minerals’ North American micronutrient assets. The acquisition includes global intellectual property rights, with trademarks and patents and certain other assets associated with Wolf Trax®, Rocket Seeds® and Hydro Bullet™ product platforms.

I interviewed Michael Berry, Director Brand Expansion, Koch Agronomic Services. He talks about what the acquisition means to retailers, growers and the company. Listen in here: Interview with Michael Berry (10:48)

In early April 2021, Koch announced the agreement to purchase Compass Minerals’ North American micronutrient assets to further Koch’s commitment to help growers around the world improve nutrient efficiency, utilization and uptake.

“The agreement with Compass Minerals is consistent with Koch’s vision of providing our customers with innovative solutions focused on plant nutrition,”said Steve Coulter, senior vice president of Koch. “We are excited to offer these products in conjunction with our current portfolio of nitrogen efficiency solutions to help growers across the globe meet their operational goals.”

“We look forward to fully integrating the products into our existing portfolio, along with the addition of new team members to better support new customers and geographies,” said Coulter. “The Koch team will focus on delivering the entire portfolio of Koch products to new and current customers.”

Learn more about Koch Agronomic Services in the Field Notes podcast series which breaks down the science and technology behind agronomy to help growers do more with less.

Koch Agronomic Services, Nutrient Management, Precision Agriculture

Animal Ag News 6/14

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Dairy Management Inc. has entered a partnership with Alamar Foods Company, which owns 455 Domino’s stores in the MENAP (Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan) region. DMI’s partnership will focus on about 300 locations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with a goal of increasing U.S. cheese sales.
  • Phibro Animal Health Corporation has partnered with Dr. John Goeser, Animal Nutrition, Research and Innovation Director, Rock River Laboratory, to host a webinar on the topic of feed hygiene. Dr. Goeser’s “Animal Nutrition Tools for Diagnosing Dairy and Beef Health and Efficiency Issues Associated with Feed Hygienic Challenges” is now available as part of the MYCOmpass™ webinar series on the Phibro Academy platform and can be accessed here:
  • Merck Animal Health is expanding its SEQUIVITY ® veterinary prescription vaccine platform to include a vaccine for sapovirus, an emerging virus causing diarrhea in young pigs.
  • The U.S. dairy industry continues to play a strong role in the U.S., supporting 3.3 million total jobs and $41.6 billion in direct wages, according to the latest economic impact report from the International Dairy Foods Association. IDFA’s 2021 Economic Impact Study, which measures the combined impact of the dairy products industry, showed the U.S. dairy industry’s economic impact totaled $752.93 billion. The U.S. dairy industry continues to play a strong role in the U.S., supporting 3.3 million total jobs and $41.6 billion in direct wages, according to the latest economic impact report from the International Dairy Foods Association. The study’s findings are also available in an interactive economic impact tool on IDFA’s Dairy Delivers® webpage where users can click on an interactive map of the U.S. to learn how dairy impacts their community.
  • Norbrook® North America announces it has expanded its portfolio of swine products available to help pork producers and veterinarians enhance the well-being of their animals and improve their operations. Recently, the company added Cefenil® RTU to its growing portfolio of generic products for use in swine.
  • New information based on updated USDA databases shows milk packs 13 essential nutrients in every serving, including zinc, selenium, iodine and potassium, plus nine more vitamins and minerals contributing to health, immune function and strong bones and muscles. To learn more about how dairy fits in a nutritious diet, visit
  • Chuck Bradley, from Rockford, Ala., was named the 2021 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion at the 57th annual competition held at Dickson Regional Livestock Center, Dickson, Tenn., and presented by the Livestock Marketing Association.
  • Cargill announced that it has joined U.S. CattleTrace as an official packer member. Cargill is the second beef processor to invest in the effort formed by multiple state cattlemen’s organizations to develop a national infrastructure for animal disease traceability in the U.S. cattle industry.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to eliminate the use of “Product of the USA” (POTUSA) and other broad U.S. origin labeling claims for beef products that are potentially misleading to consumers.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Alltech Canada Planet of Plenty Winners on Tap for ONE

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Alltech created the Planet of Plenty™ Awards to reward those who are furthering a world of abundance through nutritional and digital technologies, innovation and sustainable management practices in the agri-food sector. In the inaugural year of the Alltech Canada Planet of Plenty Awards, the recipients of the award for 2021 are Burnbrae Farms of Lyn, Ontario, and Shipwheel Cattle Feeders of Taber, Alberta.

Burnbrae FarmsBurnbrae Farms are among Canada’s leading egg producers and thriving participants in the agriculture, and local, communities they serve. Their vision is to provide nutritious food for Canadians while respecting their employees, the animals entrusted in their care and the environment. Sustainability, community engagement and social responsibility have been a part of the Burnbrae Farms’ culture for generations. Their commitment to innovation and the environment has allowed the company to achieve significant milestones on its mission to reduce the environmental impact of its operations and goal of continuously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The business also has strong community foundations and provides support in the areas in which they do business, including egg and food donations and Earth Day roadside clean-ups. Six generations of the Hudson family have been involved in Burnbrae Farms for over 130 years.

Over several generations, Shipwheel Cattle Feeders have maintained an unwavering dedication to their goal of continually improving their land base, the animals entrusted to their care and the community around them. All management decisions are made through the lens of their holistic goal: any actions must be congruent with their purpose while also building their future resource base and improving quality of life. Shipwheel is a place of continual learning, where curiosity and innovation are tempered with thoughtfulness and proper planning, thereby setting the stage for expanding our understanding of regenerative agriculture practices.

Both winners will be part of the virtual Alltech ONE Ideas Conference next week during the Planet of Plenty Live Workshops on Awarding Sustainability. Margaret Hudson, CEO and president of Burnbrae Farms and Andrea Stroeve-Sawa, manager of Shipwheel Cattle Feeders, will share their insights on June 22 at 11:00 am Eastern. Get a preview in these interviews.

Margaret Hudson, President and CEO, Burnbrae Farms and Dr. Kayla Price, Alltech Canada technical manager
Canada Planet of Plenty - Hudson and Price (18:34)

Andrea Stroeve-Sawa, manager, Shipwheel Cattle Feeders, and Vicky Horn, Alltech Canada beef account manager
Canada Planet of Plenty - Stroeve-Sawa and Horn (7:36)

The Alltech ONE Ideas Conference kicks off virtually on Tuesday June 22 at 8:30 Eastern with a keynote session featuring Alltech CEO Dr. Mark Lyons, author Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and filmmaker Dewitt Jones. Find registration and more information here.

AgWired Animal, Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Animal Health, Audio

Agri-Pulse Joins Sustainable Agriculture Summit

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Agri-Pulse Communications is joining the 7th annual Sustainable Agriculture Summit as exclusive Media Partner. The Summit will return to an in-person event convening this November 17-18 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Agri-Pulse joins a team of eight Summit partners who jointly host the conference, led by Field to Market and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Jointly hosted by organizations representing America’s commodity crop, dairy, beef, poultry, pork and specialty crop industries, the Summit is expected to convene more than 600 leaders across the full food and agriculture value chain.

“We are pleased to welcome Agri-Pulse as the Sustainable Agriculture Summit’s Exclusive Media Partner,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market. “As a respected voice for agriculture, Agri-Pulse will expand the reach of the Summit to an even broader community of stakeholders, bringing fresh perspectives to the event and enriching our audience’s ability to learn, develop and advance a shared vision for a sustainable and resilient U.S. food system.”

As the Summit’s Exclusive Media Partner, Agri-Pulse will play a central role in expanding the reach of the seventh annual Summit. Bringing the organization’s expertise across a range of agriculture issues, Agri-Pulse will contribute to shaping the Summit’s agenda, as well as elevate the Summit’s profile to new audiences across their readership.

Agri-Pulse, Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Sustainability

Industry Ag News 6/11

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Farm Journal announced that a #FarmON Benefit Concert will be presented in partnership with the National FFA Foundation on Thursday, August 26, at Frahm Farmland in Colby, Kansas. Country music artists will perform during the event as the grand finale of the Great American Farm Show, which includes Pro Farmer Crop Tour and Farm Journal Field Days.
  • Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Executive Director Peter McCornick was invited to present at the 2nd Asia International Water Week hosted by the Asia Water Council. McCornick shared “Reflections on Water, Energy & Food” during the session focused on Water-Energy–Food Nexus. During the session, speakers addressed water issues related to the nexus from political and technical perspectives and shared their experience and research outcomes. Click here to watch the full recording.
  • The World Food Prize Foundation announced that Victoria Chia has joined the organization as the Senior Director, International Dialogues. In this role, Ms. Chia will oversee and coordinate major programs and events related to the World Food Prize Foundation’s mission, including the Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue and Digital Dialogues.
  • Potatoes USA announces nominations are now open for new Board Members for the 2022-2025 term. The nominating process will be completed by August 15, 2021.
  • Fifteen agriculture students have been selected as the fifth class of recipients of the GROWMARK Foundation scholarship. More than 180 students from across the United States and Ontario, Canada, applied for the award. Applications were evaluated by a panel of agribusiness professionals, and the funds are available for the fall 2021 semester.
  • Jim Spradlin, GROWMARK’s CEO since September 2014, announced to the GROWMARK Board of Directors his intent to retire effective February 28, 2022.
  • James “Todd” Hale, 57 of Columbus, Kansas, went to be with the Lord when he passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Todd Hale had recently joined the National Association of Farm Broadcasting in November 2020 after being named farm director at KKOW Radio in Pittsburg, Kansas.
  • 288 agricultural organizations representing the geographic and commodity diversity of our nation’s farmers urged immediate Senate action to develop and pass legislation addressing agricultural labor reform. The call came in a letter addressed to Senate leadership and distributed to all senators. The letter was organized by the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), which brings together organizations representing the diverse needs of agricultural employers across the country. The text of the letter can be found here.
  • To support the next generation of agricultural professionals, National Farmers Union Foundation announced the 2021 recipients of its annual scholarship awards. Applications for the 2022 scholarship awards open in December 2021. More information about the scholarships is available on the NFU website at
  • The Ag Media Summit Steering Committee is excited to unveil this year’s theme: “The Sky’s the Limit!” The in person event will take place in Kansas City, July 31-Aug. 4, 2021.
Zimfo Bytes

World Pork Expo Showcases Top Pork Priorities

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) kicked off the return of World Pork Expo with a policy priorities press conference focused on the administration appeal of a recent federal district court ruling striking down faster harvest facility line speeds, legal action on California’s Proposition 12 and expanded export market access. The expo is being held this week in Des Moines for the first time since 2018.

“After a two-year absence, we’re thrilled for the return of Work Pork Expo, showcasing the latest developments in the U.S. pork industry,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director of Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “U.S. pork producers have a number of near-term challenges and priorities, including a federal court ruling that, if implemented later this month, will cause tremendous harm to hog farmers across the country. We need the Biden administration to quickly intervene and prevent this disastrous scenario from becoming reality.”

The federal court decision, which takes effect on June 29, strikes down a provision of USDA’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) allowing for faster harvest facility line speeds and will reduce plant capacity at six plants running at NSIS line speeds by as much as 25 percent.

California’s Proposition 12 set to go into effect next year will impose animal housing standards on farms across the country, while driving up costs for both pork producers and consumers. NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, asking the court to strike down Proposition 12 as unconstitutional under the dormant commerce clause and a court ruling is anticipated by mid-summer.

Speaking to the issues were:
NPPC President Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms
NPPC Vice President Scott Hays, Missouri
NPPC CEO Neil Dierks
Nick Giordano,Vice President and Counsel, Global Government Affairs
Liz Wagstrom, Chief Veterinarian
Michael Formica, Assistant Vice President and General Counsel

NPPC Pork Expo presser (54:39)

Audio, NPPC, Pork, World Pork Expo

Precision Ag News 6/9

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • MyLand Company, LLC announced Joe Ruiz as Director of Sales, Western Region. Joe will serve as a regional sales director, responsible for client expansion and new client acquisition in the important Western United States and Mexico.
  • Eco World Research and Development Group, LLC and Solvay USA, Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a mutually agreeable settlement and multi-year United States patent license agreement. The agreement relates to enhanced fertilizer technologies containing dimethyl sulfoxide, urease inhibitors, and nitrification inhibitors. The agreement provides Solvay a license to a portfolio of World Source Enterprises, LLC patents, controlled by Eco World.
  • CommoditAg continues to expand its robust supplier list with the addition of Soil Technologies Corp., a company offering multiple natural alternatives for many agronomic markets. The new partnership allows CommoditAg to add several new organic agricultural inputs to their product lineup.
  • Twenty-four proposals, designed to accelerate precision agriculture, reduce chemicals to enhance soil health or fight pests to preserve biodiversity, make up this year’s Bayer Grants4Ag winners. The successful researchers will receive grants to fund their projects. Bayer will also pair each winner with one of the company’s own scientists to provide guidance on each project as it progresses.
  • Beck’s, the largest family-owned retail seed company in the United States, is proud to expand their collaboration with Computomics, a biotechnology company in Tübingen, Germany. The partnership, centered around predictive analytics, aligns Beck’s with top competitors when it comes to a modern breeding program.
  • The Soil Health Institute’s Lead Scientist for the North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements, Dr. Shannon Cappellazzi, has been named by cover crop, forage and turf seed industry leader GO Seed to lead its research into sustainable seed solutions to combat climate change, announced co-founder and president Jerry Hall.
  • Trust In Food, a Farm Journal initiative, announced that Certis Biologicals has joined America’s Conservation Ag Movement. Certis Biologicals, formerly Certis USA, is a leading manufacturer and registrant of biopesticides with innovative technologies and production expertise spanning from fermentation to formulation. It maintains the largest number of global registrations of biological products, which are sold in the U.S. and exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.
  • AgBiome announced the addition of four new team members to AgBiome’s commercial team. AgBiome’s commercial team is focused on product development, and distribution of its first biological fungicide Howler®, a revolutionary biofungicide that harnesses the power of the plant microbiome with multiple modes of action that provide preventive, long-lasting activity on a broad spectrum of soilborne and foliar diseases.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Global Launch of Agoro Carbon Alliance

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Agoro Carbon AllianceJust recently Yara announced the commercial launch of the Agoro Carbon Alliance, a global business created for farmers to earn additional revenue through positive climate action.

The company held a virtual launch event today which with participants from all over the world. The event featured speakers from all parts of the alliance including farmers who are adopting carbon cropping practices to add new revenue streams, technology providers who are enabling the efficient and accurate collection of data, climate-smart agriculture experts who are helping develop the practices, and investors who are helping the alliance get started.

Speakers included:

Moderator: Agoro CEO, Alex Bell. Additional speakers: Yebin Zhao, Global Agronomist at Agoro Carbon Alliance; Anastasia Pavlovic, Director of Operations at Agoro Carbon Alliance; Sean Donovan, Global Markets Expert at Agoro Carbon Alliance and Terje Knutsen, Executive Vice President Farming Solutions at Yara International.

You can listen to the presentation here: Virtual Global Launch of Agoro Carbon Alliance

The Agoro Carbon Alliance is Yara’s new global business created for farmers to earn additional revenue through positive climate action. By leveraging Yara’s deep agronomic knowledge and credibility, Agoro Carbon makes it possible for every farm to transition to climate-positive farming practices, restoring carbon to the world’s soils, and reversing the effects of climate change.

Agribusiness, carbon, Environment, Sustainability