The Alltech International Welcome & Reception featured world class entertainment again this year with musical performances by students involved in the University of Kentucky, Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition. Our musical performances were announced by Dr. Everett McCorvey. However, a favorite each year is having all the dinner attendees led in the singing of the song of Dublin, Molly Malone. The song was led by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech Founder and President. How many company owners do you see willing to do this and do it so well?
The Symposium kicks into high gear in the morning after an early Fun Run which I’m planning to participate in. So we’ll see you then.
It’s time for one of the best shows of the year, the 2013 Alltech International Symposium. Maggie Seiler, ZimmComm summer intern, and I are on our way. This is a fantastic event for a (perhaps) future agriblogger to jump right into the waters.
We’ll kick off our Symposium adventure this evening at the International Welcome Reception and Dinner, featuring world class entertainment. It’s a social activity where many people now catch up since the last Symposium. I’ve made many international friends at this event and hope to see them in Lexington, KY.
If you’re attending the Symposium then you should consider downloading the Symposium App. Just scan the QR code to get started. Here’s what it will let you do.
During the Symposium
Use the app to manage your schedule, find meeting rooms, get updates on sessions, research speakers, and exchange contact information with other attendees.
After the Symposium
Use the app to stay connected with people you meet and to review session papers and product information.
To follow the Symposium action on Twitter we’re using the hashtag #Glimpse.
Robert Fogarty, photographer and founder of Dear World, may not think he’s changing the world but I might disagree. He takes pictures of people who are changing the world but in the process he’s doing his part to do the same.
So who is Robert Fogarty and what is Dear World?
We aren’t changing the world, but we take pictures of people who are.
I take pictures. They started as photographic love notes to New Orleans, where people know what it’s like to nearly lose something. We learned that you can never lose your voice.
Now I ask people to share one meaningful message with family, friends and strangers.
In this week’s program I talked with Robert about how he got started on an adventure that has taken him around the world where he has met and photographed some names you’ll surely know. Hey, like me! The photo of me is from last week’s Farm Credit Idea Share. Robert was there to “do his thing” with us and that included our sharing of messages about agriculture in his unique way. You can see a number of the photos from the event in the Farm Credit Facebook page.
Robert would like to help you with your message to the world. All you have to do is contact him.
Betty’s nomination, submitted by son Charles, was chosen by judges of American Agri-Women as regional winner for the Southeast. Online voting was conducted in early May, during which time anyone could visit AmericasFarmers.com, read regional winners’ nominations and cast a vote for one to receive the national title. Betty received the most online votes, and she was notified of her national win on Mother’s Day.
“Whether she is driving a tractor, feeding cows or caring for her family, Elizabeth (Betty) is 100 percent all-in for the job,” wrote Charles in the winning nomination. “Mom certainly doesn’t let grass grow under her feet, as she is always on the move for her family, her church, her farm and the community.”
All five regional “Farm Mom of the Year” winners will receive a $5,000 cash prize from Monsanto. As national winner, Betty will receive an additional $5,000. A check presentation ceremony is being planned in her honor for early summer.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Bowman v. Monsanto, a case regarding an Indiana farmer who planted saved Roundup Ready soybean seed, ruling that “patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission.”
“The Court’s ruling today ensures that longstanding principles of patent law apply to breakthrough 21st century technologies that are central to meeting the growing demands of our planet and its people,” said David F. Snively, Executive Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel of Monsanto. “The ruling also provides assurance to all inventors throughout the public and private sectors that they can and should continue to invest in innovation that feeds people, improves lives, creates jobs, and allows America to keep its competitive edge.”
American Soybean Association (ASA) President Danny Murphy, a Mississippi soybean farmer, welcomed the ruling. “By ruling unanimously in favor of maintaining the integrity of intellectual property laws, the Supreme Court has ensured that America’s soybean farmers, of which Mr. Bowman is one, can continue to rely on the technological innovation that has pushed American agriculture to the forefront of the effort to feed a global population projected to pass 9 billion by 2050,” Murphy said in a statement. “Without the protection of intellectual property that the court reaffirmed today, the companies on whom my fellow soybean farmers and I rely would have no real incentive to make the investments necessary to develop new soybean varieties that yield more, resist disease, weeds, and pests, are drought tolerant, or have improved nutritional profiles.”
“Roswell Garst’s commitment to customers – to be a trusted advisor in addition to a seed dealer – is the very essence of what the Syngenta Seed Advisor network embodies,” said Lori Thomas, customer marketing manager for the dealer channel commercial unit for Syngenta in North America. “Even though the Garst name won’t have the same market presence, the integrity, tradition and history of the company will continue to live on.” Thomas and her husband, Mike, were Garst Seed Advisors for 10 years.
Founded as Garst & Thomas Hi-Bred Corn Company in 1930, the Garst brand has a rich history of bringing many innovative corn solutions to market, from developing herbicide-tolerant hybrids, including the first IMI-corn, to offering European Corn Borer (Bt) control and herbicide tolerance together in one corn hybrid, to transcending borders and taking the new technology to farmers in other countries, including the former Soviet Union.
Since Syngenta acquired the Garst brand in 2004, the company has focused on building a diverse genetic portfolio, using the genetics from the Garst, Golden Harvest and NK® brand breeding programs and incorporating the market-leading line-up of Agrisure® traits. Earlier this year, Syngenta announced the decision to rebrand the existing Garst and Golden Harvest corn seed brands and launch a unified Golden Harvest brand stemmed from ongoing efforts to strengthen and grow the network of Syngenta Seed Advisors.
A new logo and numbering system for Golden Harvest hybrids will be in place for summer 2013 trials and the 2014 planting season. “The new logo brings elements from the Garst legacy as well as the Golden Harvest legacy,” Lori says, stressing that growers who have counted on Garst seed to maximize their yields will still have access to the same high-quality genetics under the Golden Harvest name through their Syngenta Seed Advisor.
BASF plans to begin production of 1,4-butanediol based on renewable feedstock (renewable BDO) using the patented process of California-based company Genomatica. The one-step fermentation process is based on sugars as a renewable feedstock.
BDO and its derivatives are widely used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers. The starting materials for the production of conventional BDO are natural gas, butane, butadiene and propylene. BASF currently produces conventional BDO at facilities around the world and the new agreement will now allow BASF to build a world-scale production facility that will use the Genomatica process to manufacture BDO based on renewable feedstock. Under the terms of the agreement, Genomatica will continue to advance its patented renewable BDO production process technology based on sugars while BASF will produce renewable BDO, which will be available in the second half of 2013 for sampling and trials.
“We chose the Genomatica process because we consider it to be exceptionally advanced and reliable,” said Sanjeev Gandhi, President of BASF Intermediates division, and added: “In line with our ‘We create chemistry’ strategy, we aim to offer renewable BDO and create additional value for our customers, in the plastics, textile and automotive industries.”
Here’s the “Meet the New Media” panel at the 2013 Farm Credit Idea Share. More on that in a moment.
But first, to learn more about Idea Share, I spoke with Leigh Picchetti, Senior VP, Communications, Farm Credit Reputation Management Program. She says, “Idea Share is an annual meeting for Farm Credit System employees who have a responsibility within their Farm Credit organization for marketing, communications, public relations, sponsorship and giving and a variety of different reputation management activities.”
I asked her what reputation management means to Farm Credit and she says, “We can’t take for granted the perception of the publics that we serve and the borrower/owners who are at our foundation.” Leigh says they know that they need to earn and keep the trust of those borrowers and owners as well as members of Congress who are their sponsors and the investors who make it possible to raise the capital to serve their customers and owners.
Now back to the panel. We had an interesting mix with KayDee Gilkey, Northwest Ag Information Network; Dan Looker, Successful Farming; Emily Zweber, AgChat Foundation and myself and moderated by Becca Yaklich, AgriBank. Thanks to James Shaw for photos.
Our panel provided a mix of perspectives on the media landscape of today and how that impacts Farm Credit and the communications professionals attending Idea Share. You can find a number of ideas in the conference tweet stream and here are my notes for my opening remarks. Continue reading →
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $19.5 million to support research, education and Extension activities associated with climate solutions in agriculture aimed at the impacts of climate variability and change on dairy and beef cattle. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. The announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
The University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison, Wisconsin, received $9.9 million over five years to study the environmental impact of various dairy production systems and develop best management practices for producers to implement at the farm level. The University of Wisconsin is partnering in the project with the University of Arkansas, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, North Carolina A&T University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Washington, along with four USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratories, the U.S. Department of Energy and the industry-sponsored Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, Oklahoma, received $9.6 million over five years to better understand vulnerability and resilience of Southern Great Plains beef in an environment of increased climate variability, dynamic land-use and fluctuating markets.
The Cool Cow mobile app puts the tools dairy producers need to monitor and address heat stress at their fingertips. Research shows that cows can begin to show the effects of heat stress at a Temperature Humidity Index or THI of 68. Reproduction can be impacted at a THI of 55.
Heat stress and an associated 10 percent to 35 percent milk production loss may cost a dairy producer $1.60 to $5.60 per cow per day. These losses can continue to mount when reductions in reproductive performance and increased days open are added into the equation.
The mobile app features an easy to use heat stress calculator for inputting the current temperature and humidity readings. The temperature and humidity is then translated into a THI reading that shows the severity of heat stress, ranging from mild to extreme risk; providing dairy producers insight on the current conditions inside their barn. In addition to the heat stress calculator, the mobile app offers tips on mitigating heat stress from management to nutrition.
The 2014 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for January 6-8 at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel, will include a half-day Cotton Consultants Conference and the day and a half Cotton Technical Conferences. The 2014 Consultants Conference, set for Monday, January 6, will be more robust, providing technical information desired by consultants and others involved in key production/marketing-related decisions such as Extension specialists/agents, industry sales/support personnel and many producers.
Planned for the 2014 Consultants Conference are new developments from industry, including discussions of new varieties and chemistries. Also included will be special sessions where scientists, from the various disciplines ranging from agronomy to weed science, will interact with attendees to foster a lively exchange of ideas and experiences.
The 2013 Farm Credit Idea Share is underway in New Orleans this morning. Our opening general session is a panel speaking about the “State of the Farm Credit System.” This idea share conference is for Farm Credit System communications and reputation managers. Topics of presentations will focus on issues facing the the system today. I’ll be participating in the next session on “Meet the New Media.” That should be an interesting discussion and I’ll share what I heard after getting back to ZimmComm World Headquarters later today.
One of the panelists this morning is Regina Gill, Vice President, Investor Relations, Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation. I spoke with her before we got started to hear what she wanted attendees to know. Basically, it’s a positive message about a system that is in the best shape she can remember. Regina has worked for the system for 29 years and says, “This is the best market access I have ever seen.”
The name Wells Fargo is forever linked with the image of a six-horse stagecoach thundering across the American West, loaded with gold. The California-based company, founded in 1852 by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo, also has a rich history in agribusiness. In fact, Wells Fargo has extended more credit to U.S. food and agribusiness than any bank, mostly in California but now moving eastward.
To lead the expansion into new territories in the Midwest and East, Wells Fargo has named Rob Yraceburu to a new position as head of its National Food & Agribusiness Division. We talked with Rob for this edition of the ZimmCast to find out more about his background, the importance of agriculture to Wells Fargo and what they will be offering for farmers in areas east of the Rockies in the coming months.
Under the agreement with with Cutrale Citrus Juices and Peace River Citrus Products, growers will plant 5 million new trees on land that previously held citrus groves or are now idle in Polk, DeSoto and Hendry Counties, and Coca-Cola will buy the fruit. The investment is expected to create approximately 4,100 new jobs and add more than $422 million per year to Florida’s economy.
“Citrus is synonymous with Florida, but the industry has faced many challenges in recent years, particularly the growing threat of citrus greening,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that poses an existential threat to the state’s $9 billion citrus industry. The disease is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid and causes trees to produce misshapen and bitter fruit. Infected trees generally die within three to five years. The disease is present in every citrus-producing county in Florida and in more than half of the state’s groves. The Florida Legislature recently appropriate $9.5 million to support research and the fight against citrus greening across the state.
It’s time to discuss some ideas at the 2013 Farm Credit Idea Share in New Orleans. I’m headed that way today and will be participating on this panel tomorrow morning. Let me know if you’ve got some ideas to share on this topic and I’ll include them in my presentation.
Meet the New Media
Panelists: KayDee Gilkey, Northwest Ag Information Network |Dan Looker, Successful Farming | Chuck Zimmerman, AgriBlogger | Emily Zweber, AgChat Foundation
Moderator: Becca Yaklich, AgriBank
From newsrooms to newsfeeds, the way people consume the news has changed. A panel of ag media influencers will share their perspective on how today’s landscape impacts story development, how news outlets are using social media, how they like to work with PR professionals and what you can do to help tell your organization’s story.
There are a lot of questions being posed to initiate discussion at the event. Here are some of them.
What do you think the world needs to know about American agriculture? What does Farm Credit and American agriculture look like to you? What does Farm Credit mean to you and to the generations of American farmers and ranchers we’ve served for almost 100 years? What are your aspirations for Farm Credit in the future? Next week at Idea Share, we will ask you to consider these questions and answer them in a way you never have before. Write it on your body.
You can follow along with what’s happening at Idea Share using the #IdeaShare2013 Twitter hashtag.
The WTO launched a new trade monitoring database, which provides detailed information on trade measures implemented by WTO members and observers since October 2008. The database can be accessed through the WTO website.
The trade policy data is taken from the regular trade monitoring reports prepared by the WTO Secretariat. All information is submitted to the relevant WTO member for confirmation; if not confirmed, this is clearly indicated within the database.
The database will be updated each time a new trade monitoring report has been discussed by WTO members. The most recent update was completed on 15 October 2012. The next is expected at the end of July 2013.The information contained within the database can be displayed in a number of ways, including by implementing country, by country affected by the measure, by type of measure, and by products affected.
Krotz will lead initiatives which deal directly with industry partner relations, ensuring that USFRA will have the necessary short- and long-term resources to communicate and engage consumers, influencers and opinion leaders on a range of key crop and livestock production topics.
“As a passionate advocate for farming and ranching, I am eager to provide strategic counsel to USFRA’s industry partnership efforts,” said Krotz. “I look forward to working with the USFRA Board, its CEO Advisory Council and USFRA senior staff as we continue to grow this long-term movement.”
Krotz brings extensive experience in creating stakeholder relationships that align with businesses’ objectives. This experience includes expertise in public relations, marketing, branding, online marketing, advocacy management and communications. He has worked for and/or represented many well-known food and agribusiness companies and associations including Agrium, FMC Corporation, Syngenta, the National Corn Growers Association, BASF, The Grocery Manufacturers Association, DuPont Pioneer, and Monsanto. Krotz is a graduate of Kansas State University, and continues an active role in the diversified family farm in North Central Kansas, on which he was raised.
Ag Leader offers a variety of SMS™ training sessions to help answer grower and dealer questions about the software.
Today, we caught up with Jessica Ahrens, Ag Leader training specialist, and asked her:
• What’s new this year?
• How do these training sessions set Ag Leader apart from other precision ag companies?
• Why is attending a training important each year?
• And most importantly, when do they start and how do growers and dealers get signed up?
Key members of the U.S. agricultural value chain have joined together to applaud the work of the United States and like-minded governments to promote the importance of science-based regulations to facilitate trade of agricultural commodities derived from agricultural biotechnology.
In a joint statement, the United States was joined by the governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Paraguay to announce their intention to work collaboratively to remove global barriers to the trade of agricultural biotechnology and promote science-based, transparent and predictable regulatory approaches.
The U.S. agriculture sector agrees that a particular area of concern is the timeliness and efficiency of global regulatory systems. In the joint statement, the like-minded governments have highlighted their intention to promote synchronization of authorizations by regulatory authorities – in particular for food, feed and processing purposes.
Farmers seeking the flexibility of an early preemergence or postemergence herbicide application combined with residual control of resistant and tough-to-manage weeds in soybeans and cotton have a “go-to” solution: Warrant herbicide from Monsanto.
I talked with Monsanto Selective Chemistry Manager Tyler Hackstadt (HOCK-stet) about Warrant and how it might provide some advantages for growers facing planting delays this spring. “We’ve been recommending growers use multiple modes of action with residual herbicides as part of a comprehensive weed management system,” Hackstadt said. “When you’ve got a compressed planting window, the priority is to get the crop in the ground and sometimes we’re not able to get the pre-emerge residual herbicide applied in a timely fashion.” The pre- and post- application flexibility of Warrant allows growers to still get residual control.
Listen to or download my interview with Tyler here: Monsanto Selective Chemistry Manager Tyler Hackstadt
Warrant herbicide provides up to 30 days of residual control of waterhemp, lambsquarters, nightshade, Palmer pigweed, foxtails and other small-seeded grasses and broadleaf weeds. The herbicide’s wide application window includes preplant, at-planting, preemergence or postemergence – up to R2 growth stage in soybeans and first flower in cotton. The encapsulated, acetochlor-based technology of Warrant herbicide also provides increased crop safety for soybeans and cotton.
Compatibility with many tank mix partners, such as Roundup® agricultural herbicide, further complements the Warrant herbicide ease of use for farmers seeking to implement diversified weed management practices (DWMPs) that include residual and postemergence herbicides.
Warrant can be a key component of an effective weed management strategy that includes burndown, residual and postemergence herbicides, plus it qualifies for Roundup Ready PLUS® Weed Management Solutions incentives up to $2.50 per acre in soybeans and $4.50 per acre in cotton.