Animal Ag News 12/5

Carrie Muehling

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) announced that researchers have reclassified the number of African Swine Fever (ASF) virus strains from 25 to only six unique genotypes. This scientific innovation may help redefine how ASF researchers across the globe classify ASF virus (ASFV) isolates and may make it easier for scientists to develop vaccines that match the different strains circulating in ASF endemic areas across the globe.
  • U.S. Representatives Tracey Mann (KS-01) and Jim Costa (D-CA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry, led 19 of their colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack opposing a new rule that would allow for the importation of beef from Paraguay. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Paraguay is currently affected with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), a highly contagious viral disease affecting cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and other cloven-hooved animals.
  • The Meat Institute and the Protein PACT for the People, Animals & Climate of Tomorrow will highlight animal agriculture’s commitments and progress toward global goals in multiple high-level engagements at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai November 30-December 12.
  • The Rural & Agriculture Council of America (RACA) and six other organizations representing rural and agricultural interests wrote a letter to Congressional leaders urging extension of several tax provisions that are set to expire or have already expired.
  • The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) awarded three grants totaling $377,503 to track antimicrobial usage and support better-informed antibiotic treatment for bacteria that cause diseases in swine and beef cattle. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded Dr. Kathryn Havas from Pipestone a $202,555 grant through ICASA to develop a protocol that tracks antibiotic use across large-scale commercial swine production systems and compares it in real-time with its respective on-farm antibiotic use.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hailed the introduction of the Senate version of the Black Vulture Relief Act introduced by Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), a companion bill to legislation introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year that protects cattle producers from the devastating impacts of black vulture depredation.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released grant-approval to significantly expand the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects (HFMI)—a program established by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill and one of the Department’s key nutrition incentive programs for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), led by President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., lauded the expansion of the HFMI program, noting the important role dairy incentives play in improving health outcomes for Americans experiencing increasing levels of food and nutrition insecurity.
  • Americans are writing a new chapter in their love affair with dairy products, according to fresh data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which reports per capita consumption of all dairy products reached 653 pounds per person in 2022, 63 pounds above the historical average dating back to 1975 when USDA began tracking per capita dairy consumption. Cheese consumption set an all-time high in 2022 to reach nearly 42 pounds per person, a half-a-pound per-person increase over the previous year. For comparison, the average American consumed 32.2 pounds of cheese in 2000 and 21.9 pounds in 1980. Ice cream consumption in 2022 also edged out the previous year, while other dairy products including yogurt and butter remained consistent with recent year highs.
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