China – #ONEBigIdea for Beef

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

one-alltech-16-275The industry of agriculture has an international consumer base, and so many agribusiness professionals are looking into the international opportunities available within their sector and their business. Ian Lahiffe, New Business Development Director for Alltech China hosted several special sessions during ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, to discuss the opportunities that exist within the country of China, especially for the beef industry.

China’s consumption of beef is increasing at an incredible rate compared to the stagnant rate of beef consumption currently seen in America and Europe, yet 0.5 percent of the beef consumed in China is produced domestically. The U.S. does not currently have access to export beef to China, but Lahiffe believes that the international respect U.S. branded beef currently holds would make the products incredibly marketable in China should access to the country eventually be granted.

“Within ten years, per capita beef consumption could double, which means that they would need an extra seven million tons of beef per year,” said Lahiffe in an interview during the ONE conference. “What other market is there with that kind of latent consumption? It could become our largest market if we are able to gain access to export our products there.”

In the meantime, Alltech is doing a significant amount of work with the Chinese beef industry, with hopes to help improve and increase their domestic production and build a healthy, sustainable beef sector within the country.

“China’s beef sector isn’t on a large scale yet, they’re struggling with financing and the areas of animal nutrition and health, so we have a strong presence over there right now, we’re offering them a lot of support.” said Lahiffe. “We’re building a beef farming institute to train the future beef farmers of the industry, and we also recently brought a group of 20 Chinese beef farmers to Amarillo, Texas, to see the beef sector there.”

Listen to Lizzy’s full interview with Ian here:
Interview with Ian Lahiffe, Alltech China

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio, Beef, International

Research Says Americans Prefer Hot Dogs On The Grill

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

hot dogNew research commissioned by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) suggests that Americans prefer their dogs straight off the grill. Of the 90% of Americans who say they prepare hot dogs, 63% say grilling is their favorite way to cook a hot dog. Other cooking methods included steaming (12%), microwaving (9%) or frying in a pan (8%).

NHDSC estimates that Americans will consume more than seven billion hot dogs between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. That is a lot of hot dogs. Since today is Memorial Day. The count has begun and I am sure many of us have already added to that number.

“Hot dogs are the staple of an American summer,” said NHDSC President Eric Mittenthal. “The smell of a hot dog cooking on the grill awakens us from the soggy spring doldrums and arouses joyful memories, as well as a growling stomach.”

The research was conducted online in May 2016 among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older by Harris Poll for the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC).

While Americans are most likely to grill a hot dog, the research also finds that many people prefer to enjoy it inside their home with 34 percent of hot dog eaters saying that’s their favorite place to eat a hot dog, Twenty-two percent prefer eating hot dogs in their backyard, while 19 percent most enjoy their hot dogs while tailgating or inside a sporting event. Thirteen percent of hot dog eaters say they are best enjoyed at a picnic.

“Home is where the heart is, so it’s no surprise that Americans are primarily enjoying hot dogs at home,” said Mittenthal. “No matter where they eat one, we know it is with a smile on their face.”

Ag Group, Food, Holiday

I AM USFRA – Gene Stoel

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

i-am-usfra-webThird generation Minnesota farmer Gene Stoel has served on the board of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) for three years now and he considers it time well spent for him representing his family and his fellow farmers.

“To me it’s very important to tell people what it is we do, why we do the things we do and help them better understand where their food comes from,” Gene says.

usfra-mn-stoelStoel, who represents the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, says he has been impressed with the consumer research that USFRA has funded to help farmers communicate their message better. “They research the things that consumers want to know about farming and also the messages that resonate with consumers in the most positive way,” he said. Gene also notes that USFRA shares that research with member affiliates like his state checkoff funded organization so they can use it on the local level.

Gene and his family farm are featured on the USFRA website talking about his commitment to sustainability, which he takes very seriously and wants consumers to understand how important it is to him and future generations of farmers. “To me, that’s sustainability, being able to pass your operation on to the next generation,” he says.

Learn more about Gene and his commitment to USFRA here: Interview with Gene Stoel, Minnesota farmer

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Audio, Soybean, USFRA

What Does a Bayer Monsanto Buyout Mean for Ag?

Jamie Johansen 2 Comments

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How concerned are you about feeding 9 billion by 2050?”

It is obvious people have strong opinions about this. Few are in the middle. However, a strong majority believe we should be taking this challenge very serious and agriculture has an opportunity with some pressure to do so in a sustainable way.

Here are the poll results:

  • Very concerned – 57%
  • Slightly concerned – 6%
  • Not concerned – 28%
  • Won’t ever reach 9 billion – 9%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What would a Bayer Monsanto buyout mean for ag?

Bayer AG made a $62 billion bid to acquire Monsanto Company this month that was rejected by the board of the St. Louis-based agribusiness giant, but the door was left open for further negotiations. With ChemChina in the process of acquiring Syngenta, what do you think about the possibility of two major agricultural companies like Bayer and Monsanto becoming one?

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The Digitalization of Agriculture

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

one-alltech-16-464-editedEmerging technologies are knocking on the doorsteps of agriculture daily. One of these is facial recognition, not necessarily new when used with humans, but a cutting-edge concept in animal agriculture. David Hunt, co-founder of Cainthus, a company dedicated to digitizing ag practices, spoke to attendees of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference about ways we can all take advantage of new developments in digitalization, automation and the cloud.

“As far as I know, we are the only company in the world that is able to tell the difference between one cow and another simply from how it looks and how it moves. Once you can tell one cow from the herd, you are able to track, monitor and build analytics based on it’s behavior. Hopefully, this will enable farmers to farm more profitability.”

This technology has only recently been economically viable in agriculture because imaging sensors have become cheap, along with data storage and transfer. David said one of the biggest cost-savors to the producers is lameness detection. Since facial recognition allows for 24/7 monitoring, the moment an animal shows signs of lameness it is spotted. Feed efficiency and general behavioral analytics are two other examples of data being collected.

There is no doubt we are living in a digitized world. David believes 20 to 30 years from now we will be talking about this era as the digitalization revolution, similar to industrial and agricultural revolutions in the past. He said he would advice any farmer to implement any technology today that is affordable on a $1/acre or $1/head that gives you digital data capture on your farming operation.

Learn more about facial recognition and the digitalization of agriculture in my complete interview iwth David: Interview with David Hunt, Cainthus

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

Agribusiness, Alltech, Audio, data, Technology

New Bill Would Address On-Farm Fuel Storage

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has introduced legislation that would modify EPA regulations regarding on-farm fuel storage. The bill, known as the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act, is co-sponsored by Committee Chairman Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

fischer“I am proud to introduce the Senate-version of the FUELS Act, which would provide relief for farms and ranches with on-farm fuel storage from unnecessary regulations meant for oil refineries,” said Sen. Fischer.

According to Fischer, EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations were originally designed for major oil refineries, but over the past several years, the agency has threatened to subject the agriculture community to these regulations. The FUELS Act would exempt farms with 10,000 gallons or less of storage from the SPCC rule. In addition, it would exempt farms with an aggregate above ground storage of 10,001 to 42,000 gallons and/or no history of spills, and all aggregate above ground storage tanks for animal feed ingredients, regardless of capacity.

In 2014, Senator Fischer successfully brokered a bipartisan provision in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 that addressed the EPA’s SPPC rule by providing an immediate 6,000-gallon exemption for agriculture producers. The provision also required the EPA to conduct a study to review and determine the most appropriate level of exemption for on-farm fuel storage between 2,500 and 6,000 gallons, based on significant risk of discharge to water. In June 2015, the EPA published its study on the SPCC rule, which raised further concerns that farms would still be significantly impacted by SPCC requirements.

Environment, EPA, Farming, Government

Alltech Honors Young Scientists At #ONEBigIdea

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

image The winners of 11th annual Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) Global Competition were announced during this years ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, and the eight competition finalists were all honored on stage during a special ceremony to help close out the event.

The contest attracted undergraduate and graduate agriscience students from 117 universities in 42 countries around the world. The eight selected finalists represented both their university and their country as they competed for the global titles and fully funded Ph.D/postdoctoral positions and cash prizes.

“Our goal with this program is to inspire and foster the future leaders of the agriscience world,” said Victoria Liu, the AYS Program Director. “This program is helping young scientists to continue their journey into their chosen area of study within the agriscience. We want to offer them mentorship and give them the ability to network with the agricultural leaders of the world. We want these young scientists to be able to share their research with them.”

Listen to Jamie’s full interview with Victoria here:
Interview with Victoria Liu, AYS Program Director

image The undergraduate winner was Alonna Danielle Wright, a rising senior at the University of Kentucky in the department of Agricultural Biotechnology. Her research works on a mutant form of the nudivirus, a virus targets the corn earworm, a pest that causes an estimated $2 billion in damage and cost of control each year, and the virus’ potential future as a pest control agent.

Wright was awarded full funding towards a Ph.D at the university of her choosing during the ceremony this week. Her future research include looking into viral vectors and epidemiology, with an special interest in the control of viral outbreaks such as swine flu and bird flu.

“The agricultural problems that you read about are constantly affecting people in small communities across the country, so I knew I from the start that I wanted to be involved in the agricultural industry and to help work in research to solve some of these problems for the future,” said Wright.

Listen to Lizzy’s full interview with Alonna here:
Interview with Alonna Wright, AYS Undergraduate Contest Winner

Ag Group, Alltech, Alltech Global Dairy/Beef, Audio, Award, Contest, Research, Science, University

Food and Ag Company Leaders Commit to Sustainability

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

bipartisan-policyLeaders of food and agriculture companies joined the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today to release a new call to action on improving sustainable production.

“Food for Thought: A Call to Action on the Future of Sustainable Agriculture” notes that food producers are making important strides on improving sustainable production, but should continue to step up their commitments.

Leaders of DuPont, Elanco, Hormel Foods, Kellogg Company, and Land O’ Lakes, joined former agriculture secretary Dan Glickman in releasing the report today, outlining what each member company is doing to engage with consumers, invest in a more sustainable food supply, and what needs to happen to improve sustainability all along the production chain.

“It is clear that we need to focus more resources on finding sustainable ways to increase food production and move individuals from hunger to adequate nutrition,” said Jim Collins, Executive Vice President at DuPont. “We are committed to initiatives that increase collaboration, such as BPC’s CEO Council on Sustainability, so we can work together to help ensure people around the world have enough food to eat for generations to come.”

“Food and agriculture are at the center of one of the greatest challenges of our time—providing enough wholesome, affordable food in a sustainable way to nourish our growing population,” said Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health. “We must work more collaboratively across the entire supply chain to enable innovative, science-based solutions that protect the health of people, animals and our planet.”

Watch the webcast here.

Agribusiness, Sustainability

The Big Ten for Truffle Media

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 513In this week’s program you can listen to Jamie Johansen talk with John Blue, Truffle Media Networks, about the growth of the company and what he sees for the future.

Truffle Media NetworksJohn says that Truffle Media Networks will turn ten years old in June. He is now the Chief of Community Creation for the company. You’ll have to listen to him explain that. John is a true AgNerd and has excelled at social media creation and management. He has helped the AgChat Foundation grow and prosper and is on the board.

If you see John out on the agriblogging highway ask him about his hobby (obsession) of taking creative, artsy and sometimes strange photos of a very tiny New Holland tractor.

Learn more about this unique digital ag media company in this week’s ZimmCast: ZimmCast with John Blue, Truffle Media Networks

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

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AgChat, AgNerd, Media, ZimmCast