Opportunities Exist with Veterans for Cannabis

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

The CBD industry is a significant opportunity for veterans, not only when it comes to treating medical challenges but also when it comes to finding purpose professionally after serving, according to Joshua Littrell, founder and CEO of Veterans for Cannabis.

Littrell was at the Inaugural Florida Industrial Hemp Conference in Orlando, where the group shared its purpose and product line with others in attendance. Veterans for Cannabis began in 2014 as an advocacy group and entered the industrial hemp business in 2015 with a product launch.

“The big purpose behind the product launch was to find a safe alternative to the pharmaceuticals that were killing us,” said Littrell, who believes the products can help to reduce accidental overdoses and mitigate suicides.

The product line is grown by veterans, for veterans, from seed to sale. Littrell encouraged people to begin the conversation about the potential benefits of medical cannabis with veterans in their own families. More information is available at www.vcfusa.com.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Joshua here: Interview with Joshua Littrell, Veterans for Cannabis

2019 Inaugural Florida Industrial Hemp Conference Photo Album

Audio, Cannabis, hemp

Animal Ag Bites 11/11

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • GMO Answers has partnered with the American Feed Industry Association to create a new video that answers common consumer questions about GMOs, animal feed, and pet food.
  • The Animal Agriculture Alliance announced a new chair-elect and six new board representatives. The Alliance’s full board of directors, which includes representatives from all segments of animal agriculture, is listed on its website at: https://animalagalliance.org/about/board.
  • Leaders of Dairy Management Inc.™, the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and the United Dairy Industry Association announced election results to lead national dairy checkoff strategies and programs to protect and grow sales. Marilyn Hershey, a farmer from Cochranville, Pennsylvania, was re-elected chair of DMI.
  • The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board honored William “Bill” Siebenborn as the 2019 recipient of the Richard E. Lyng Award for his contributions and distinguished service to dairy promotion.
  • A live look at innovative in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology will be on display when the 27th Cattlemen’s College is held in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 4-5, immediately prior to the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show. Information about registration and the programs can be found at https://convention.ncba.org
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

Intergro Helping Farmers Grow Their ‘Hempire’

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Farmers attending the inaugural Florida Industrial Hemp Conference in Orlando had lots of questions about growing hemp as a commodity crop. Intergro was one company providing some answers for them.

Intergro CEO Joe Gordhamer told farmers that if they have experience growing other crops, they can grow hemp. He said the potential use for the hemp is important, suggesting growing for CBD is more like growing vegetables, and growing for industrial hemp is more like raising row crops.

“Bottom line is, if you take care of the plants under drip and plastic, if you treat them carefully and give them what they need, you’ll get a good crop,” said Gordhamer.

He told farmers the growing environment is important, from raised beds to nutrition and protection from disease. Because the the list of crop protection products available for growing hemp is very restricted, Gordhamer said Intergro’s preventative prebiotic foliar spray is a valuable product to give leaves a protective coating.

“We have thousands and thousands of acres of vegetables on these products successfully defending against disease. And really it is just using these natural products, powered by nature, for hemp,” Gordhamer said.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Joe Gordhamer, CEO, Intergro
Interview with Intergro CEO Joe Gordhamer

2019 Inaugural Florida Industrial Hemp Conference Photo Album

Audio, hemp

ZimmCast 629 – Farming Hemp in Florida

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

This week I attended the inaugural Florida Industrial Hemp Conference & Expo in Orlando. Hemp has become a hot topic in agriculture today since so many states have created legislation allowing it to be grown and more are in the process. That includes my home state of Florida.

I asked all the people I spoke with or interviewed during the Conference how USDA’s announced interim final rule on the Domestic Hemp Production Program would affect the budding industry and their company or organization. It appears that Florida and USDA are taking big steps to help create some certainty for farmers to grow a product that can be made into thousands and thousands of products.

Included in the program are: Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, Director of Cannabis, Holly Bell; Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Jerry Frankhauser; Geoff Whaling, Chairman of the National Hemp Association; and Coordinator of the Florida Industrial Hemp Conference, Gene Jones. You can find more interviews in our virtual ag newsroom on AgNewsWire here.

I hope you enjoy this episode of the ZimmCast and thank you for listening.

BTW. Feel free to contact me if you have ideas or suggestions for a future program. I’m always open to what would be of interest.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 629 - Hemp Farming in Florida
Subscribe to the ZimmCast by clicking here.

Ag Group, Audio, Farming, hemp, ZimmCast

Secretary Perdue Talks Mexico Trade

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue led a trade mission to Mexico this week to investigate new opportunities with our nation’s largest bilateral trading partner and second-largest export market for agricultural products.

The secretary was joined by the heads of six state departments of agriculture: Bryan Hurlburt of Connecticut, Celia Gould of Idaho, Joseph Bartenfelder of Maryland, Chris Chinn of Missouri, Doug Goehring of North Dakota, and Derek Sandison of Washington. Other participants included representatives from various companies and organizations, including Alltech, Almond Board of California, Renewable Fuels Association, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Soybean Export Council, and USA Rice.

Secretary Perdue held a call regarding the trade mission on Thursday where he also talked about USMCA, immigration and farm labor, disaster aid, and trade aid. Listen or download below.
USDA Secy Perdue press call on Mexico trade mission (18:16)

Audio, Exports, Trade, USDA

Ethanol Powered Jeep Wrangler Debuts in Vegas

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Kenny Hauk of Hauk Designs unveiled a new project at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week that highlights the benefits of higher ethanol blends in high performance vehicles – a Flex Fuel Jeep Wrangler with more than 1,000 horsepower using a high-octane, low-carbon fuel containing up to 85 percent ethanol (E85).

Fans can watch the Hauk team design and build the RFA flex-fuel Wrangler in a special “Hauk Machines” Amazon Prime video series now airing. Since August, a series of five-minute mini-episodes have been airing on RFA’s Facebook page as a preview.

“This project is all about educating different consumer groups in a fun and innovative way,” said RFA Vice President for Industry Relations Robert White. “At RFA, we want to push the boundaries to show the potential of ethanol as a fuel for a wide variety of vehicles and demographics, especially when special interests tell us it can’t be done. Ethanol is a high-powered fuel that is perfectly suited for on road and off-road applications. It also helps keep our air and water clean, something important to off-road enthusiasts and conservationists. Kenny Hauk is the perfect person to help us tell this story and educate consumers globally through social media, television and at future events.”

White says plans are underway to get the one-of-a-kind Wrangler on the road for special events and shows around the country, to showcase the power and opportunities behind ethanol. He talks about the project in this interview:

Interview with Robert White on Flex Fuel Jeep Wrangler (8:11)

Audio, Ethanol, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Zimfo Bytes 11/8

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • New Holland is supporting agricultural non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Canada in conjunction with its Great New Holland Haytools Giveaway. The National FFA Foundation and 4-H Canada will be recognized as the beneficiaries in the U.S. and Canada respectively. For every entry New Holland receives, the brand, with a corporate match from CNH Industrial America LLC, will give $2 to FFA (if the entrant is located in the U.S.) and $2 to 4-H Canada (for entrants located in Canada) up to $100,000 USD. The final donations will be given in May 2020 at the conclusion of the giveaway. Producers can enter the giveaway at trade shows, their local New Holland Dealers, via text codes by texting BLUE to 31313 in the U.S. or 393939 in Canada, or via the contest website at newhollandgiveaway.com/BLUE.
  • Nominations are now open for the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer. The state winner will be announced at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show. Applications are due to the GPC office by Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. The award application is available online at www.gapeanuts.com or by contacting Joy Crosby at 229-386-3690 or joycrosby@gapeanuts.com.
  • Make plans to attend the 44th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The one-day show is free and open to all farmers and industry representatives to attend.
  • CommoditAg welcomes two new leaders, and introduces new roles to current team members. Ben Van Nostran, Chief Operating Officer, brings a 20-year career spanning marketing, sales and strategy leadership roles in U.S. and global markets to his role as COO. Kait Sheehan joined the CommoditAg team as the Marketing Manager. Karen Whitt serves as the Chief Financial Officer for CommoditAg, and Cheryl McWhorter recently assumed the role of CommoditAg Technology Manager. Harley Rensing joined the team in 2018 as Business Operations Associate and was named Customer Care Manager at the end of October 2019.
  • The World Food Prize announced the public launch of the Archive of the Foundation President, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn. The Archive, which represents his entire 52 year public career, can be found at www.ambassadorkennethquinnarchive.org.
  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) was recognized last week for 50 years of support of the National FFA Organization at the organization’s 92nd annual convention held in Indianapolis.
  • The Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) Board of Directors announced Chuck Lippstreu has been selected to lead the association upon the retirement of current MABA president Jim Byrum in February 2020. He will join the association effective January 2
Zimfo Bytes

Hemp Research Important to Production Progress

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Hemp research is moving quickly in order to support industrial production of the crop, according to Jerry Fankhauser, Industrial Hemp Program Logistics Coordinator, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, UF-IFAS.

“We’re moving as quickly as we can into a commercial environment with less than a year’s worth of research data. That’s a tall order,” said Fankhauser, who spoke at the inaugural Florida Hemp Conference in Orlando.

He said more than 20 faculty members at UF-IFAS are now engaged in some level of industrial hemp research, trying to understand what genetics might be adapted for growers in the state of Florida and what production systems they might use to grow different cultivars of hemp. They’re also working to understand the invasive potential of the crop and looking at possible pesticides that could eventually be registered for use with industrial hemp. Fankhauser said the USDA’s Interim Final Rule moves the process along even further.

“It means that now it really looks like an agricultural commodity. It’s going to be a permitted activity in our fields and greenhouses and growth rooms across Florida, and growers are going to need to understand what the rules are, what the limitations are,” he said.

The pilot project he is working on is just one aspect of research that is happening. Fankhauser said further collaboration as interest in industrial hemp production continues to grow.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Jerry here: Interview with Jerry Fankhauser, UF-IFAS

2019 Inaugural Florida Industrial Hemp Conference Photo Album

Audio, hemp

National Pork Board Study Assesses China Market

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

A new report from the National Pork Board defines China’s growing need for protein and details ways U.S. pork can fill the immediate protein gap. The new report, Pork 2040: China Market Assessment, also reveals the impact that African swine fever (ASF) is having on both China’s short- and long-term protein needs and how the Chinese pork industry and supply chain will change as a result.

According to the research, U.S. pork is poised to help fill the urgent short-term protein needs that ASF is creating in China due to the decrease in China’s domestic pig population. However, by 2025 Chinese pork production will have rebounded, and farms will have had time to rebuild and become more modern. The report outlines key steps that pork exporters can take now to increase exports to China in the short-term and defines a strategy to meet long-term demands. A few highlights from the report include:

Short-term – With the current ASF outbreak, the U.S. export industry will need to work hard to capitalize on the potential market share it can garner. The demand in the short term will be for pork cuts, variety meats and carcasses. Exporters also should use the benefit of time to build loyalty with both Chinese processors and consumers.
Long-term – As 2025 approaches and Chinese domestic production rebounds, Chinese pork will replace most of the import growth seen during the ASF outbreak. However, U.S. exporters can use these next five years to build customer relationships, value around their products and to differentiate themselves as a preferred supplier in the long-term.

Read more from the National Pork Board.

Exports, Meat, Pork, Pork Checkoff

Plant-Based Fake Meat Ad Points to Truth

Chuck Zimmerman

Plant-Based Fake MeatI don’t know about you but I like to know what’s in my food. When it comes to meat I prefer it to be made out of meat and not a bunch of processed ingredients. I also think it’s important for consumers to be given good information that they can make intelligent decisions with. That’s why I like this new ad from the Center for Consumer Freedom. The organization placed a full-page ad in The New York Times showcasing quotes from nutrition and medical professionals on plant-based meat’s healthiness—or lack thereof. Apparently 76% of Americans think “plant-based” foods are healthy but CCF is pointing to experts who urge caution about fake meat.

Companies that manufacture meat analogues are trying to latch on to clean eating trends by calling their products “plant-based.” In reality, these ultra-processed products, which can have dozens of ingredients, don’t grown on vines—they’re made in factories. As one dietitian puts it, “It’s not like you’re eating vegetables.” The National Institutes of Health recently found ultra-processed foods cause weight gain.

The ad, which can be found here, is the latest addition in CCF’s campaign to raise awareness of what’s in “plant-based meat.” Additional information, such as blogs and an ingredient comparison tool, can be found at CleanFoodFacts.com. Additional ads have run in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.

CCF managing director Will Coggin commented: “The fake meat industry has tried to play down the ultra-processing of these products by comparing them to yogurt or apple pie. But there’s a big difference between homemade baked goods and Frankenfoods created in labs.”

Food, Food Safety, Meat