Animal Ag News 11/2

Carrie Muehling

  • The U.S. Trade Representative announced it is suspending $817 million in trade preferences for Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences program because the country hasn’t made sufficient progress providing the United States with “equitable and reasonable market access” for pork products. The decision follows a 2018 petition by the National Pork Producers Council asking the USTR to review Thailand’s eligibility for the GSP program, one that offers duty-free treatment to certain goods entering the United States.
  • Marshall Reece, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Associated Milk Producers Inc. of New Ulm, Minn., has been named the new president of the American Butter Institute, gaining the position during the organization’s annual meeting, held this year virtually.
  • Addressing dairy farmers and industry representatives, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) leaders reflected on strategically adjusting business plans due to the impacts of COVID-19, and attributed this year’s results to industry unity, agility, speed and relentless relationship building. DMI CEO Tom Gallagher said one of the year’s highlights was USDA’s per capita report that showed consumption reached 653 pounds per person in 2019, a 60-year high for dairy.
  • Vets Plus, Inc. announces it has hired Adam Yankowsky as Director of Sales. Mr. Yankowsky will oversee sales and marketing activities for the Merrick’s Blue Ribbon® line of livestock health products, the Pets Prefer® line of companion animal products and the Probios® line of probiotics. He will also supervise private label and other business development initiatives.
  • Five years after launching its initial Accelerator program, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is gearing up for its 2021 program with the announcement of a new name, DFA CoLab Accelerator, and continued focus on helping accelerate and grow ag-tech and dairy food product companies.
  • In 2019, Lely announced plans for its new North American campus, furthering its commitment to Pella, the state of Iowa and the dairy producers across North America.
  • The American Feed Industry Association named Cassie Jones, Ph.D., an associate professor in animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University, as its Member of the Year during the AFIA’s fall Board of Directors virtual meeting.
  • The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is pivoting the Young Leaders Under 30 Program to an online format for 2021. The program will be called ‘IPPE Linked In With Tomorrow’s Leaders’ and is designed to recognize leadership qualities in young professionals. The program’s goal is to engage and invest in the next generation of young professionals, between the ages of 21 and 29, who work for companies directly involved in the production and processing of poultry and meat or in the production of animal food.
  • CowManager launches a new Nutrition module that provides actionable insights regarding feed and transition management on dairy farms. The module has been expanded with clear graphs and user-friendly comparison functionality. Timely notifications regarding cows at risk during the transition period, heat stress, low feed intake, and herd health help to focus a producer’s attention where it is needed most. These notifications allow the producer to approach herd management in a preventive, proactive, and precise manner, resulting in better cow health and a more productive herd.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is announcing the release of a comprehensive industry feedyard audit tool. The Cattle Industry Feedyard Audit will serve as a standardized audit tool based on the sound science and common sense established in the Beef Quality Assurance program. Though the audit tool is owned by NCBA, auditing of feedyards will only be conducted through business-to-business activity within the cattle industry. NCBA will be maintaining the tool with updates as science dictates.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Virtual 93rd National FFA Convention One to Remember

Cindy Zimmerman

It may have been virtual, but over 217,000 viewers tuned in for the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo last week. Convention attendees had the opportunity to view the live general sessions on RFD-TV, The Cowboy Channel and streaming on, where they saw peers from across the country receiving recognition for their hard work, heard from this year’s national officer team, and even saw the FFA Band and Chorus perform.

The convention concluded on Thursday evening with the election of the new National FFA Officer team.

Students from Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Missouri were elected by National FFA Delegates to serve as 2020-21 National FFA Officers.

Doster Harper, an agriscience and environmental systems major at the University of Georgia, was elected national president.

Anna Mathis, an agricultural communication major at the University of Arkansas, was elected national secretary.

Paxton Dahmer, an agricultural education and leadership major at the University of Missouri – Columbia, was elected central region vice president.

Miriam Hoffman, an agribusiness economics major at Southern Illinois University, was elected eastern region vice president.

David Lopez, an agricultural communications major at California Polytechnic State, was elected western region vice president.

Artha Jonassaint, a government and global health major at Harvard, was elected southern region vice president.


Agri-Pulse Hosts National Pork Board Webinar on Trade

Cindy Zimmerman

Agri-Pulse president Sara Wyant moderated a discussion last week with USDA Trade Undersecretary Ted McKinney, North Carolina hog farmer Jan Archer, and Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes on how exports add value for pork producers and support U.S. jobs. The event was sponsored by the National Pork Board.

Watch the webinar here.

Listen to the audio here:
Agri-Pulse webinar on pork exports (1 hour)

Agri-Pulse, AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Exports, Pork, Pork Checkoff, USDA

Industry Ag News 10/30

Carrie Muehling

  • Commodity Classic has announced it will transition its annual conference and trade show, originally scheduled for March 4-6, 2021, in San Antonio, Texas, to an alternative digital format. The change was necessary due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new format is expected to be offered the first week in March 2021.
  • Camso is actively working to drive farming forward, offering a new level of roading performance for Trailed Track Systems used on farm implements, such as planters, fertilizer carts, sprayers, and harvest carts. Designed to meet the challenges that today’s farmers face, 5 new models in the TTS 35, 40, and 45 series were introduced in early 2020 that allow farmers to travel up to 20 mph, that’s 30% faster than previous models, for up to two continuous hours. In 2021, Camso’s larger TTS models will also include 30% higher roading speed and extended duration capabilities for the 70, 80, 100, and 110 series.
  • Ground was broken in Crookston, MN for the long-awaited Ag Innovation Campus’s 67,000-square-foot soybean crush facility. The project is supported by Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA).
  • The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City’s November 12 webinar will look at the results of the November 3 election and the implications for agribusiness. The panel will feature veteran farm policy reporter and analyst Sara Wyant who is editor-in-chief of Agri-Pulse Communications. She will be joined by Blake Hurst, president, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation and Ron Seeber, president and CEO, Kansas Grain and Feed Association and Kansas Ag Retailers Association. The panelists will share their views on the Federal elections and key state-wide races and how those results may translate into policy directions affecting agribusiness.
  • Students from Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Missouri were elected by National FFA Delegates to serve as 2020-21 National FFA Officers.
  • CNH Industrial actively engages with start-ups around the world in an effort to identify new and innovative solutions. One of its ag machinery brands, Case IH, is currently working in Australia with an emerging company focused on solving the issue of poor network coverage on farms by developing technology that enables power-efficient broadband connectivity across vast distances. The partnership between Zetifi and Case IH Australia/New Zealand has resulted in a series of trials of a portable Wi-Fi repeater fitted to a tractor, that effectively creates a ‘bubble of connectivity’ around it, enabling a machine’s telematics, remote support and data transfer capabilities, along with Wi-Fi calling, messaging, email and internet access for the machine’s operator.
  • Jacquelyn Howard, vice president of food supply chain sourcing for The Starbucks Coffee Company, is the newest addition to The Center for Food Integrity board of directors. Howard joins the 22-member board, which represents the full diversity of today’s food and agriculture industries and brings unique perspectives to CFI’s mission of earning trust in today’s food system.
  • Green Point Research completed the largest hemp harvest in the State of Florida in over 80 years. The multi-day, 110-acre harvest in North Florida reaped over 500,000 hemp plants and is part of a broader 150-acre fall hemp harvest for the company.
  • Farm Foundation and USDA’s Economic Research Service announce the confirmed speakers for the opening keynote panel at the upcoming Emerging Research on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Conference. The keynote, “USDA’s Vision for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers,” will take place at 9:00 a.m. CT on the first day of the conference, November 9, 2020.
  • The first ever commercial shipment of U.S.-grown rice was recently unloaded in China, following more than a decade of regulatory and political effort by USA Rice to establish a two-way trading relationship with the nation. The premium, medium grain Calrose rice was grown in California and sold by ADM Rice, Inc. to a private importer under the ‘Sungiven’ brand for retail distribution.
  • To help shoppers plan ahead and find a location that fits their shopping preferences, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board is debuting a new zip code-based retailer locator at An interactive map and search filters allow users to narrow the field by location and retail type, including choose and cut farms, seasonal lots, garden centers, general retailers, and home improvement stores.
  •, in partnership with, is proud to announce the launch of the national Feed Your Future campaign. Maintaining a strong supply chain is more important than ever during COVID-19, and careers in the agri-food industry are essential.
  • United Fresh Produce Association is launching the United re- Fresh Experience, a monthly series of events in January 2021 to re-Fresh your business, re-Fresh your company, and re-Fresh your life.
Zimfo Bytes

2021 Commodity Classic Will Be Virtual

Cindy Zimmerman

Even though we all expected it, the news is still sad. Commodity Classic will be virtual in 2021.

The annual conference and trade show was originally scheduled for March 4-6, 2021, in San Antonio, Texas. The new format is expected to be offered the first week in March 2021. The 2022 Commodity Classic will be held in New Orleans on March 10-12, 2022.

The transition to an alternative experience is already underway and more information will be available in the coming weeks. To keep up to date, sign up for email updates at

Commodity Classic is presented annually by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

AEM, Commodity Classic, Corn, NAWG, NCGA, sorghum, Soybean, Virtual, Wheat

EPA Finalizes Pesticide AEZ Rules

Cindy Zimmerman

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited another farm this week to make an agricultural announcement. At Overman Farms in Goldsboro, N.C., Wheeler announced finalized improvements to requirements for the pesticide application exclusion zone (AEZ), the area surrounding pesticide application equipment during outdoor production pesticide applications.

EPA’s targeted changes improve the enforceability and workability of the AEZ requirements, decrease regulatory burdens for farmers, and maintain critical worker protections. Today’s revisions are consistent with the 2018 Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA). The AEZ requirements are part of EPA’s agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulations.

“Since day one, the Trump Administration has been committed to protecting the health of all our citizens,” said EPA Administrator Wheeler. “The changes to the AEZ requirements make it easier to ensure people near our nation’s farms are protected, while simultaneously enhancing the workability of these provisions for farm owners and protecting the environment.”

This final action balances the input EPA received from a wide range of stakeholders during the proposed action’s 90-day comment period. EPA has clarified and simplified the AEZ requirements based in part on input from state pesticide regulatory agencies and agricultural stakeholders after the adoption of the 2015 WPS rule. Consistent with PRIA, EPA is only implementing changes related to the AEZ requirements in the WPS.

Listen to Wheeler’s announcement below and read more about the changes from EPA.

EPA AEZ Rules announcement (6:33)

Audio, EPA, pesticides

Happy Birthday AgNewsWire!

Cindy Zimmerman

Fifteen years ago this month, ZimmComm introduced an “innovative news distribution service for agriculture” called AgNewsWire, which has since become “Agriculture’s Virtual Newsroom” and a trusted source for agribusiness news and content from industry events. In the new virtual reality of COVID-19, AgNewsWire is more relevant than ever.

Two recent examples of virtual newsrooms this year are the Cattle Industry Summer Meeting, which was a hybrid event, and the American Coalition for Ethanol Annual Conference, which was all virtual. Interviews, images and audio recordings of sessions were made available to those unable to attend and gave the media a quick source of content. Audio files and interviews from these kinds of events also provide information for organization members who are able to listen as well.

In addition, several podcasts are distributed through AgNewsWire, including the agribusiness-focused ZimmCast and the Renewable Fuels Association Ethanol Report, as well as Koch Agronomics Field Notes and the Daugherty Water for Food podcast. In addition, all AgNewsWire event audio and interviews are available in a subscribable podcast format.

A new feature for AgNewsWire is the ability to order and pay for news release distribution via credit card online. The on-line order form allows users to attach the release and any other assets and provide written instructions for when to distribute. A draft is created for approval before distribution. Most releases can be distributed within 24 hours.

Also would like to mention that AgNewsWire is the official virtual newsroom for AAEA The Ag Communicators Network and the Livestock Publications Council and we appreciate the support of the agricultural media. We will be doing a seminar about virtual newsrooms during the upcoming virtual Ag Media Summit November 16-17 so be sure to register and join us to find out more.

Media, Public Relations, Virtual, ZimmComm Announcement

Wayne Farms Chef’s Craft Gourmet Chicken

Chuck Zimmerman

Chef's Craft ChickenWhen I got a news release from Wayne Farms that included a product sample if I would like to do a taste test, I said, Yes, please. So I received the grilled chicken breast fillets and grilled chicken breast chunks. I sliced the breast fillets into a spaghetti sauce, paired with a small side salad and glass of chianti. It was a fast and easy recipe for a good meal for Cindy and me. The fillets are individually packaged and all you have to do is place them in a pan of hot water to thaw them. They were tender and tasty so I can definitely recommend these if you want a meal that’s already mostly prepared.

So, the release is all about the fact that you can now find these products in grocery stores.

Wayne Farms LLC (Wayne Farms) is continuing its expansion into the retail space with the launch of CHEF’S CRAFT® Gourmet Chicken into grocery stores. The chef-inspired brand of products is now available for purchase at Walmart and Food Lion stores.

The Flame Grilled Chicken Breast Fillet and Grilled Chicken Breast Chunks are being sold at about 2,400 Walmart stores and more than 1,000 Food Lions. The Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks will be available later this fall in stores. Each of these products are made from no-antibiotics, vegetarian-fed chickens.

CHEF’S CRAFT® chicken is a line of gourmet products thoughtfully inspired by chefs. They are fully cooked and frozen, providing consumers with an easy-to-prepare, nutritious meal within minutes. The minimally processed products also are gluten-free and preservative-free. The chicken is 100 percent-farm raised and contains no nitrates, MSG or artificial ingredients. They pair perfectly with your favorite rice, pasta and vegetable dishes.

“We are thrilled to be offering CHEF’S CRAFT® chicken in retail locations for the first time. Previously, the brand was only directly sold to the foodservice industry,” said Megan Ernst, senior marketing manager of Wayne Farms LLC. “Walmart and Food Lion are perfect partners to introduce CHEF’S CRAFT® chicken to retail consumers. Shoppers will love the chef-inspired products that are ideal for busy families on the go.”

Food, Poultry

Study Finds Gas Car Ban Would Hurt Agriculture

Cindy Zimmerman

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) has just released a study on the impacts of increased electric vehicle penetration on U.S. biofuels, agriculture and the economy. Proposals to ban internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 and 2050 served as the economic models for the study, along with a base case provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook.

The study found that U.S. light-duty and freight vehicle consumption of ethanol and biodiesel could decline up to 90 percent to 1.1 billion gallons and up to 61 percent to 0.8 billion gallons, respectively.

Corn and soybean consumption could decrease by up to 2.0 billion bushels and up to 470 million bushels, respectively. Corn prices fall up to 50 percent to $1.74 per bushel, while soybean prices fall up to 44 percent to $4.92 per bushel.

Overall, U.S. net farm income would decrease by up to $27 billion due to a proposed ban.

This study makes clear that an internal combustion engine vehicle ban could devastate the agriculture community. Proposals that seek to rush this ban to 2035 have the most severe impacts, but any ban results in dramatic decreases in ethanol, biodiesel, corn and soybean prices, and demand for fertilizer and other agricultural products. These are burdens carried disproportionately by the agriculture community.

The study found that economic losses throughout the biofuels value chain range from $105 billion to $185 billion, and cumulative federal, state, and local tax revenues losses range from $39 billion to $69 billion through 2050.

Richard Gupton, ARA Senior Vice President Public Policy & Counsel, talks about the study in this interview.
ARA gas car ban study (4:21)

Read the entire study

Agribusiness, ARA, Audio, Biodiesel, Biofuels, Corn, Ethanol, Soybean