U.S. Beef Regaining Access to China

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Following one more round of technical consultations, China is to allow imports of U.S. beef on “conditions consistent with international food safety and animal health standards and consistent with the 1999 Agricultural Cooperation Agreement, beginning as soon as possible but no later than July 16, 2017.”

The announcement was welcome news for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Craig Uden said, “After being locked out of the world’s largest market for 13 years, we strongly welcome the announcement that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef exports to China. It’s impossible to overstate how beneficial this will be for America’s cattle producers, and the Trump Administration deserves a lot of credit for getting this achieved.”

“We’re very excited about this development, it’s another step closer to restoring access to China,” said Kent Bacus, NCBA Director of International Trade and Market Access. “This announcement is a culmination of the recent meeting between President Trump and President Xi at Mar-A-Lago, and we’re excited that beef was the number one point that was included in this 100 day plan.”

Listen to a press conference with NCBA here: NCBA on Beef Access to China

Audio, Beef, Exports, International

Agri-Pulse Poll: Farmers See New Trade Top Need

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

A recent survey conducted by Agri-Pulse and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) in April falls in line with announcements from Washington D.C. this week on the importance of trade to American agriculture.

The survey found that more than a third of 133 soybean farmers (34.5 percent) said passing new trade agreements is the most important national issue affecting the profitability of their farm. Maintaining a Renewable Fuel Standard (27.8 percent) came in second and reducing regulatory burdens (13.5 percent) in third.

Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant, who helped collect and tabulate the results of the quarterly poll said, farmers are closely following the trade agenda of President Trump. “Almost three quarters of respondents said they agree with his plan to renegotiate NAFTA,” Wyant said. “It’s clear that the farm economy depends on trade and that our farm exports to Mexico and to Canada are critical for agriculture.”

Poll participants were somewhat divided over the president’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have joined the U.S. in a trading agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. Forty-five percent disagreed with that move, while almost 38 percent backed his decision.

Read More

Ag Group, Agri-Pulse, Trade, USDA

Three for FMC

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

FMC Agricultural Solutions has added three team members to its marketing and communications team in Philadelphia. These new team members will support the FMC agricultural crop protection portfolio in the U.S. and Canada.

Christina Coen

Christina Coen, a veteran agricultural marketer, has been named marketing director for the United States and Canada. Coen will have responsibility for the marketing of the FMC full agricultural portfolio including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant health and new technology offerings. Previously, Coen held a series of operations, marketing and licensing leadership positions at Dow AgroSciences and its parent company, The Dow Chemical Company. Most recently, Coen was North America crop protection project success leader for Dow AgroSciences, where she was a two-time Innovator Award recipient.

Lisa Homer

Accomplished agricultural communicator Lisa Homer is the new senior communications manager for the United States and Canada. In her new role, Homer will oversee marketing communications activities that support the full FMC agricultural portfolio in the U.S. and Canadian markets. Homer has more than 20 years of marketing and advertising experience serving agricultural, pet and other markets. In addition to owning her own consulting business, Homer has worked with several marketing agencies and, most recently, was account director at Stephens & Associates Advertising Inc. This role marks a return to FMC for Homer, who served as the company’s promotions and interactive communications manager earlier in her career.

Julie Boss

FMC Agricultural Solutions has named accomplished agricultural communicator Lisa Homer as senior communications manager for the United States and Canada. In her new role, Homer will oversee marketing communications activities that support the full FMC agricultural portfolio in the U.S. and Canadian markets. Homer has more than 20 years of marketing and advertising experience serving agricultural, pet and other markets. In addition to owning her own consulting business, Homer has worked with several marketing agencies and, most recently, was account director at Stephens & Associates Advertising Inc. This role marks a return to FMC for Homer, who served as the company’s promotions and interactive communications manager earlier in her career.


Trump Trade Team to Include New USDA Post

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

President Trump now has a complete cabinet with Senate approval of Ambassador Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative, and USDA will soon have an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs to help with the administration’s international trade goals.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a reorganization of USDA yesterday that includes the creation of the new undersecretary, which was approved in the most recent farm bill.

“Food is a noble thing to trade. This nation has a great story to tell and we’ve got producers here that produce more than we can consume,” said Secretary Perdue. “And that’s good, because I’m a grow-it-and-sell-it kind of guy. Our people in American agriculture have shown they can grow it, and we’re here to sell it in markets all around the world.”

As part of the reorganization, Perdue also announced that the department’s Rural Development agencies would be elevated to report directly to the secretary of agriculture “in recognition of the need to help promote rural prosperity. Additionally, a new undersecretary will be selected for a newly-named Farm Production and Conservation mission area, which is to focus on domestic agricultural issues. FSA, RMA, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will all fall under this new undersecretary.

Listen to Perdue’s announcement here: Secretary Perdue announces USDA reorganization plans

AgWired Animal, Audio, Trade, USDA

Meet AgGrad’s 1st Ultimate Ag Intern

Jamie Johansen

AgGrad says Taylor Kennedy will be the first ever participant in the Ultimate Ag Internship. The program was created as a window into agribusinesses across the country which elevates work culture, career opportunities and a bird’s eye view of specific job functions. This summer, Kennedy will travel to various agricultural companies to learn and document these components via videography.

Kennedy is currently a graduate student of agricultural communications at Oklahoma State University. She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in agricultural services and development from Tarleton State University and is a former national president of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Through this internship opportunity, Kennedy will expand her knowledge of the industry and build upon her video and photography skills.

“We are very excited to see Taylor bring this program to life,” says Tim Hammerich, Founder of AgGrad. “She will provide us the chance to tell the story of modern agribusiness in a format that resonates with young audiences: through video and imagery on social media.”

AgGrad has a community of students and young professionals interested in agribusiness careers. The organization believes in equipping professionals with accessibility to employment details they would otherwise not receive at job fairs. Agribusinesses interested in participating in the program should contact Jenny Schweigert at Jenny@AgGrad.com for details. Follow Kennedy’s journey, on AgGrad Facebook Page and on Instagram.

Ag Group, AgGrad, Agribusiness, Education, Internship

Taking DC Bureaucrats to the Farm

Cindy Zimmerman

The National Corn Growers Association recently joined with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the American Seed Trade Association to host officials from EPA and USDA for demonstrations on planting practices, seed treatments, and equipment innovations in an effort to help them understand modern farming. The event took place on the working farm of NCGA Chairman Chip Bowling in Newburg, Maryland, which is about an hour from the nation’s Capitol, and included demonstrations from companies such as John Deere, Case, and Bayer. Take a look at the video to see how it went.

AEM, AgWired Precision, ASTA, NCGA, Seed, Technology, Video

Soil Health Institute to Unveil Soil Health Action Plan

Jamie Johansen

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) will unveil the Soil Health Action Plan at 9 a.m., May 18, at the First Amendment Lounge, National Press Club, Washington, DC. The nationwide plan evolved after four years of stakeholder input, beginning with the Soil Renaissance in 2013. Agricultural industry thought leaders, farmers, ranchers, scientists, government agency leaders, and non-governmental organizations provided input into the plan, which will be used to drive advancements in soil health.

Speakers will include:
– Wayne Honeycutt, President and CEO of the Soil Health Institute
– Bill Buckner, President and CEO of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
– Keith Alverson, 6th generation farmer and National Corn Growers Association board member
– Leonard Jordan, Acting Chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
– Jerry Lynch, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of General Mills
– Michael Doane, Director of Working Lands, The Nature Conservancy

Agricultural and conservation leaders indicate soil health must emerge as the cornerstone of land use management decisions throughout the world during the 21st century, in part, due to increased extreme weather events, increased demand for food to sustain a growing population, and the decrease in arable farmland. Enhancing soil health allows us to improve water quality, increase drought resilience, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve farm economies, provide pollinator habitat, and better positions us to feed the nine billion people expected by 2050.

Ag Group, Soil

Through the Eyes of a Farmer Series

Chuck Zimmerman

The Georgia Peanut Commission is showing farming from the perspective of a farmer with a video series titled, “Through the Eyes of a Farmer.” This episode features a visit with Lee Cromley, farmer from Bulloch Co. Cromley in partnership with his brother, farms cotton and peanuts.

You can find more in the series on the Georgia Peanuts Facebook page or the Georgia Peanut Commission YouTube page.

Ag Group, Peanuts, Video

FMC Appoints Mike Harper Industry Relations Manager

Chuck Zimmerman

Welcome Mike Harper in his new role with FMC Agricultural Solutions as Industry Relations Manager. He will lead the company’s industry association relationships, facilitate industry stewardship and advance FMC industry goals.

Harper joins the marketing team from the company’s Agricultural Solutions sales team where he served as a retail market manager in Missouri for 37 years, selling and servicing retail and wholesale accounts in the crop protection sector. Over the years, he has supported various FMC marketing segment teams and assisted with intern training and coordination. Harper has been actively involved in the MO-Ag Industries Council board and the Certified Crop Advisors State Board of Missouri. Harper is a graduate of Purdue University. He and his wife Bobbi will continue to reside in Columbia, Mo.

Agribusiness, FMC

Bayer Agrees to Give Up Liberty for Monsanto Deal

Cindy Zimmerman

Bayer announced this week that the company received conditional approval of its proposed acquisition of Monsanto in South Africa, conditions that include the “divestiture of Bayer’s global Liberty Link trait technology and the associated Liberty branded agro-chemicals business.”

Bayer has agreed to these conditions and is evaluating how best to execute the imposed divestiture. As previously communicated, Bayer has been anticipating that regulatory authorities could require certain divestitures. Bayer will continue working with regulators globally with a view to receiving approval of the proposed transaction by the end of 2017.

The Liberty Link technology competes directly with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready and was developed to address weeds that have become resistant to the Roundup herbicide glyphosate.

At the recent Bayer AG annual stockholder’s meeting, CEO Werner Bauman said the company is making good progress in seeking regulatory approval for the transaction and has already submitted applications for clearance to almost all of around 30 authorities. “As our businesses are highly complementary in terms of both products and geographical focus, and there are only a small number of overlaps, we remain confident that we will be granted all the necessary clearances,” Baumann said. Overall, Bayer remains confident of closing the transaction before the end of 2017.

Agribusiness, Bayer, Monsanto