Alltech ONE, Day One

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Alltech CEO Dr. Mark Lyons is hosting his second Alltech Ideas Conference since the passing of his father and company founder Dr. Pearse Lyons early last year – and since disruption and change is what Alltech is all about, nothing has changed.

“Dad always said that the only constant in this company is change,” said Dr. Lyons. He talked about how Alltech continues to evolve in his opening address where he announced a new collaboration to fight African Swine Fever (AFS) and a partnership with the University of Kentucky Healthcare.

Dr. Mark Lyons opening remarks

After the opening session, Dr. Lyons participated in a press conference with representatives of UK Healthcare, as well as Alltech Research Director Dr. Richard Murphy and Robbie Walker, CEO of Alltech subsidiary Keenan. Dr. Lyons answered questions from the media on a variety of topics, including AFS and the trade war with China, where he lived for six years.

Alltech Press Conference

Alltech ONE19 continues through Tuesday.

2019 Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

AgWired Animal, Alltech, Audio

Growing Demand for U.S. Soy Abroad

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

While trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) is working to build global demand and expand market access for U.S. soy products and support the American farmer.

Since last year, USSEC hosted events around the globe with new and existing customers to show appreciation for their business and grow it even further. Last week, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter joined other USSEC representatives for events in Nigeria, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand meant to bring together U.S. exporters and grower leaders with existing and potential customers.

Sutter provided an update on what USSEC is doing to increase demand for U.S. soy abroad during a press briefing on Friday. He was joined by USSEC staff members Paul Burke and Timothy Loh, and Iowa soybean farmer Morey Hill.

Listen here:

USSEC media call
Audio, Exports, Soybean, Trade, USSEC

Animal Ag Bites 5/20

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin marketing team took home a Gold award for their Wisconsin Cheese brand activation at the 2019 Association of National Advertiser’s REGGIE Awards competition. Wisconsin Cheese was recognized for superior brand marketing along with some of the biggest brands in the world including Oreo, Coca-Cola, Cheetos, and Taco Bell. Their winning campaign was The World’s Longest Cheeseboard experience at South by Southwest in March 2018. The team later made history by officially setting a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title in August 2018.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture is furthering its overall African Swine Fever preparedness efforts with the implementation of a surveillance plan. As part of this plan, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will work with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF.
  • A new U.S. Department of Agriculture blueprint, published in Frontiers and Genetics, will serve as a guide for research and funding in animal genomics for 2018-2027 that will facilitate genomic solutions to enable producers to meet increasing future demands for animal products by a growing world population.
  • Pre-registration for the 2019 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting July 29 – August 1 in Denver, CO, is now open. Register by Friday, July 12, or on-site beginning Monday, July 29. The Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting media room is among the best in agriculture, with comfortable work space and ready high-speed internet access. NCBA staff will be available to help you line up interviews and answer questions about current events and industry topics. Full registration cost is provided for working editorial media covering the conference. The only charge is for spouses, guests or any special events. This complimentary registration is reserved for working media on assignment. Find the full conference schedule here.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

AFIA Honors Members, Elects Leadership

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) honored award winners and elected officers during its annual spring meeting in Orlanda, Fla.

The organization named T.J. Biggs, director of technical services and quality assurance at Global Animal Products, its Member of the Year. The Member of the Year Award is presented to an AFIA member who exhibits outstanding support in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives throughout the year.

Bill Barr, president of Bill Barr & Company, accepted the 2019 Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is AFIA’s highest honor and is typically given to the elite members of the U.S. animal food industry who have provided outstanding support to AFIA and the entire animal food industry throughout their careers.

Tim Belstra, chairman of Belstra Milling Co., is the AFIA new chairman. His one-year term is effective through the end of AFIA’s fiscal year April 30, 2020. Scott Druker of Church & Dwight Company, Inc. is chair-elect of the organization and will succeed Belstra in May 2020.

AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Feed

NCGA Promotes Corn in Pet Food

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) was on hand to talk with those attending the recent Petfood Forum in Kansas City. More than 3,000 people from 38 countries took part in the event.

“The U.S. is the top pet food market in the world, and retail sales are actually expected to top $39 billion by 2023,” said Sarah McKay, director of market development at NCGA.

McKay shared information from a study commissioned by NCGA and the Kansas Corn Growers through Kansas State University looking at the benefits of corn in pet food, including the antioxidant profile and added value when it comes to immunology and colon health.

She debunked four key myths about corn in pet food, helping consumers to understand the corn is not bad for pets, does not cause allergies, does not contain gluten and is more than just a filler ingredient when added to pet food. More information about the benefits of including corn in pet food is available at

Listen to Carrie’s interview with Sarah here: Interview with Sarah McKay, NCGA

Audio, Corn, NCGA

Zimfo Bytes 5/17

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The American Farm Bureau Federation and Florida Farm Bureau today presented Rep. Theodore Yoho (R-Fla.) with AFBF’s Golden Plow award. The Golden Plow is the highest honor the organization gives to sitting members of Congress.
  • The World Food Prize Foundation announces the opening of registration for the 2019 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium Pax Agricultura: Peace Through Agriculture.
  • Anheuser-Busch has announced it is investing $30,000 in Hop Growers of America (HGA) as part of its commitment to its 2025 Sustainability Goals and to the broader agricultural community.
  • Highlights from Swanson Russell’s annual meeting in April point to continued business growth as well as a milestone in high employee satisfaction and culture. In 2018, Swanson Russell had one of its best years financially and as a result, staff has increased to a record high of 163 full-time employees in the Lincoln, Omaha and remote offices. Recently, the agency was recognized by Quantum Workplace as one of Lincoln’s Best Places to Work in the medium-size business category. The Quantum Workplace competition annually surveys and recognizes employee engagement.
Zimfo Bytes

GrainCoat App Streamlines Grain Marketing

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Like many farmers, Sean Arians also has a job that sometimes takes him away from his agriculture operation. Arians needed an easier way to manage grain marketing activities, so he developed the GrainCoat application.

“Cloud spreadsheets and shared spreadsheets are sometimes tough to keep up to date and I really wanted an application that I could take with me on my phone, my iPad, or work with it from the desktop,” said Arians.

Arians said GrainCoat can project multiple years of crops based on data entry by the farmer. When a market move happens, the farmer has immediate access to how many bushels are available of each respective commodity, and can even make sales or offers to an elevator through the app. When that offer fills, the farmer will receive a text message with that notification, eliminating a step for the grain elevator, as well.

A delivery notification feature will be the next thing to launch, streamlining the delivery process and eliminating the need to track physical contracts to manage how many bushels to deliver to each elevator. Arians said the GrainCoat application is available at or for download on an iPad or iPhone. A free version is available with reduced features, or farmers can choose GrainCoat Advantage for $199/year.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Sean here: Interview with Sean Arians, GrainCoat

AgWired Precision, Apps, Audio, Marketing, Precision Agriculture

American Butter Institute: ‘Fake’ Butter is Mislabeled

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

More plant-based products are entering the marketplace labeled as butter, and the dairy industry wants to put a stop to that practice. American Butter Institute Executive Director Tom Balmer said these products are mislabeled based on the standard of identity that exists for butter.

“The butter standard of identity, which is the only federal food standard established by an act of Congress, and it’s the oldest food standard that’s still in effect in the United States, requires that the product be made from cream and be not less than 80 percent milk fat in the finished product,” said Balmer.

He added that butter has a very simple ingredient list. “Virtually no product has as clean a label as butter, in the case of salted butter being cream and salt – two ingredients,” he said.

Balmer attributes the increase in these types of products coming into the marketplace to a decline in sales of margarine and vegetable spreads, while per capita consumption of butter continues to increase. He said the dairy industry has no problem with these products, but disagrees with labeling them as butter instead of margarine or some other kind of spread.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Tom Balmer, American Butter Institute

AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Dairy

Precision Ag Bytes 5/15

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Nicole Hasheider, who joins the organization as director of biotechnology and crop inputs in the St. Louis office.
  • U.S. sales numbers of ag tractors and combines were up in almost every category, according to the latest Association of Equipment Manufacturers sales data. Total 2-wheel-drive tractors experienced an 11.8 percent growth in sales from April of 2018. Specifically, under-40 HP tractor sales grew 16.6 percent, 100-plus-HP tractor sales grew 6.6 percent, and 40-100-HP tractors were the only tractor to see a decline in sales at a small 1.8 percent decrease. Additionally, 4-wheel-drive tractor sales saw a 32.2 percent growth from April of 2018. Between the increase of sales between total 2-wheel-drive tractors and 4-wheel-drive tractors, overall farm tractor sales experienced 12 percent growth. However, self-propelled combines did see a 4.2 percent drop in sales.
  • Premier Crop Systems helps farmers understand the importance of their field profitability by assisting growers in managing farm decisions at a finer scale. Understanding breakeven cost per bushel at a finer scale than the whole operation can change how growers manage those fields.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Dairy Industry Recognizes Sustainability Winners

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Winners of the eighth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards announced by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy are, front row from left, Kathryn Cardoza (Philip Verwey Farms), Shelley Verwey (Philip Verwey Farms), Joan Maxwell (Cinnamon Ridge Farms), Cortney VanOeffelen (VanOeffelen Farm Services), Dean Strauss (Majestic Crossing Dairy), Nicole Zammit (Gleaners Community Food Bank); back row, from left, are: Frank Cardoza (Philip Verwey Farms), Philip Verwey (Philip Verwey Farms), John Maxwell (Cinnamon Ridge Farms), Craig Metz (EnSave Inc.), Kevin O’Donnell (General Mills), Josh Luth (Foremost Farms), Kris Strauss (Majestic Crossing Dairy), Bridget Brown (Gleaners Community Food Bank), Stacy Averill (Gleaners Community Food Bank) and Julie Beamer (Gleaners Community Food Bank).

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced its eighth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners during a May 8 ceremony in Rosemont, Illinois.

The program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the well-being of people, animals and the planet.

Through creative problem solving, this year’s winners addressed environmentally beneficial production practices, resource and energy reduction as well as the essential role of dairy in bringing quality nutrition to food insecure populations.

The 2019 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards winners are:

Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability

Cinnamon Ridge Farms (Donahue, Iowa)
Majestic Crossing Dairy (Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin)
Philip Verwey Farms (Hanford, California)

Outstanding Dairy Supply Chain Collaboration

General Mills and Foremost Farms (Reed City, Michigan)

Outstanding Community Impact

Gleaners Community Food Bank (Detroit)

The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards program is supported by generous sponsors. This year’s sponsors are: DeLaval, Phibro Animal Health, Syngenta, USDA and World Wildlife Fund.

AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Award, Dairy, Sustainability