Animal Ag News 6/28

Carrie Muehling

  • Led by the South Dakota Livestock Auction Markets Association and Steve Stratford of Kansas-based Stratford Angus, the National Beef Checkoff Petition Committee is nearing the deadline for obtaining signed petitions for a beef checkoff referendum from 10 percent of the nation’s cattle owners. Launched on July 2, 2020, in the wake of the economy-disrupting COVID-19 pandemic, the Petition Committee was given until July 2, 2021 to obtained signed petitions calling for referendum from 88,269 cattle producers. Due to near nation-wide pandemic-related restrictions, the year-long petition drive was principally relegated to an online electronic-based petition located at, which has gained considerable momentum during the past few weeks gathering about one hundred new petition signers each day.
  • LeRoy Butler, four-time pro bowl defensive back for the Green Bay Packers and seven-time cookbook author, is teaming up with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin to help consumers better understand how dairy farmers care for their animals while preserving their family farmland for future generations. Follow @leap36 on Facebook and Twitter this year while Butler shares his on-farm adventures with friends and family or visit Wisconsin Dairy Buzz to catch some of his recent television appearances.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the creation of two new, competitive grant funding opportunities for small, regional, and independent meat processors using funds the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) worked to secure at the end of last year. After fighting hard for several key priorities for cattle producers in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, NCBA praised USDA for putting $55.2 million of those funds toward the critical need for greater beef processing capacity. Applications for funding must be submitted online at by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 2.
  • Online grocery and meal ordering grew tremendously throughout the pandemic, and this trend is only expected to continue growing. Today, 67 percent of consumers are buying groceries online for delivery or pickup. See how the Beef Checkoff implements e-commerce advertising campaigns with major retailers like Target, Sam’s Club, Kroger and more to accelerate sales of fresh beef.
  • Beef Checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. launched an integrated campaign to share stories of real beef producers and their commitment to protecting the land for generations to come.
  • Vytelle, with their network partners, announce the release of the Top 150 Proven Bulls. These high accuracy bulls have risen to the top of more than 81,000 animals of 25 different breeds and more than 262,000 residual feed intake (RFI) EPDs.
  • Nestlé USA and the checkoff-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced that California’s Trinkler Dairy Farm, a CARNATION® supplier, is the first pilot farm within the Net Zero Initiative (NZI).
  • Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have developed a new experimental vaccine to protect cattle from the bacterium that causes Johne’s disease, Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP).
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association announced that Carrie Behlke is the winner of the 8th annual National Anthem Contest, sponsored by Norbrook. Behlke will sing the National Anthem at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn., during the Opening General Session on Aug. 10, as well as at the Cowboy’s Night at the Opry event on Aug. 12. For convention information and to register, visit
  • Seventy lawmakers joined Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Reps. Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) in letters asking the administration to stop a recent court order from harming U.S. hog farmers. The letters call on Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Acting Solicitor General Prelogar to appeal a recent federal district court striking down pork harvest facility line speeds allowed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS). The court order, set to go into effect on June 29, will lead to pork industry concentration and increased market power for plant operators at the expense of small hog farmers. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is calling for a longer stay of the court order and/or waivers that would allow the six impacted plants to continue operating at NSIS line speeds until a long-term solution acceptable to all industry stakeholders can be established.
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