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NAMI and NPPC Urge the USDA and Congress to Address Port Challenges

With delays and congestion at U.S. ports hurting U.S. agriculture exports like meat and poultry products, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) are urging U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Congress to confront the crisis.

The issue at hand is the continued behavior of ocean carriers to decline to carry U.S. agriculture commodity exports and instead return empty containers to Asian markets to fill them with more lucrative consumer goods to export back to the United States. Also, NAMI claims that ocean carriers and marine terminal operators are...

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Jun 17 8:26 AM, General News



USDA Announces Additional Aid to Ag Producers and Businesses in Pandemic Assistance

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced additional aid to agricultural producers and businesses as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Earlier this year, Secretary Vilsack announced plans to use available pandemic assistance funds to address a number of gaps and disparities in previous rounds of aid. As part of the Pandemic Assistance initiative announced in March, USDA pledged to continue Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments and to provide aid to producers and businesses left behind. Implementation of the assistance announced today will continue within 60 days to include support to timber harvesters, biofuels, dairy farmers and processors, livestock farmers and contract growers of poultry, assistance for organic cost share, and grants for PPE.

“USDA is honoring its commitment to get financial assistance to producers and critical agricultural businesses, especially those left out or underserved by previous COVID aid,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These investments through USDA Pandemic Assistance will help...

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Jun 17 8:24 AM, General News


Study Finds Consumers are Hopeful About Agriculture’s Ability to Positively Impact Climate Change

When it comes to climate change, consumers view agriculture as a part of the solution rather than the problem. Among participants in Cargill’s recent global Feed4Thought survey, those who indicated climate change as important to them also rated livestock and agriculture lowest in negative impact compared with other industries generally regarded as significant contributors. More than one-third of respondents expressed confidence in the industry’s ability to limit its contributions to climate change.

“Farmers are critical to feeding the world sustainably and responsibly,” said Ruth Kimmelshue, who leads Cargill’s animal nutrition & health business. “With a growing population and rising consumer interest in climate change, they are also part of the solution to address...

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Apr 8 10:39 AM, General News


Cargill Initiative Aims to Conserve Canadian Prairies through Collaboration with Ranchers

Beef farmers and ranchers play an important role in providing quality food, but few people know they also play an essential role in protecting Canada’s land, water and wildlife. With the urgency of unprecedented environmental challenges, like climate change, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has teamed up with McDonald’s Canada and Cargill to support rancher-led work through a $5-million CAD Forage Program. The program will work to return 125,000 acres (50,585 hectares) of cropland to grass and pasture by 2025.

In response to growing climate concerns, returning less productive annual cropland to perennial grass helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Collectively, the impact of this program is comparable to removing...

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Mar 29 8:18 AM, General News


Food Price Surge is Unlikely to Revert

Agricultural commodity prices have surged almost 50% since mid-2020, causing concerns over food price inflation around the world and sometimes resulting in increased export taxes and quotas by producers at a time when importing countries want to import more.

Rabobank can identify four major factors driving the surge across agri commodities that will remain active in 2021: 1) US dollar weakness: Rabobank forecasts the US dollar to remain soft through 2021 (US dollar index -7% lower since mid-2020), but no further weakness is expected. 2) Weather: La Niña could extend into the US spring planting season. 3) Global demand: Good global demand (either for animal feed or storage) to continue through...

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Mar 10 8:23 AM, General News


NPPC: Bill Addressing Agriculture Labor 'Step In the Right Direction'

Legislation introduced on Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, would reform the H-2A visa program to address the agricultural labor shortage. Among other provisions, it would amend the H-2A program to allow a capped number of visas for farmworkers to work year-round. The following statement is attributable to National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“The U.S. pork industry is suffering from a serious labor shortage, negatively impacting farms and processing plants. Unfortunately, the current H-2A visa program is designed for seasonal agriculture, ignoring the needs of...

 

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Mar 5 8:20 AM, General News


Perdue AgriBusiness Announces Plans to Close Lothian, Maryland Grain Elevator

Perdue AgriBusiness, an independent operating company of Maryland-based Perdue Farms, has announced plans to close its grain elevator in Lothian, Md., by March 31 and is working closely with local farmers to minimize the impact. The company will stop receiving grain deliveries on Feb. 26.

“As a 101-year-old Maryland based company, we have long valued the importance of our relationship with local grain farmers, one built on a century of trust and transparency,” said Scott Fredericksen, president of Perdue AgriBusiness. “Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, we have seen...

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Jan 25 8:21 AM, General News


USDA Offers Additional Assistance for Certain Producers Through Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response to ongoing evaluation of CFAP.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left a deep impact on the farm economy, and we are utilizing the tools and monies available to ease some of the financial burdens on American producers to ensure...

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Jan 19 8:24 AM, General News


Contract Broiler Growers Can Begin to Apply for Federal COVID-19 Relief on January 19

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between January 19 and February 26.

Contract producers of broilers, pullets, laying hens, chicken eggs (breeders), turkeys and...

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Jan 18 9:29 AM, General News


NPPC Submits Comments on Proposed USDA Rule for Gene-Edited Livestock

For more than two years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has dragged its feet on the development of gene-edited livestock, an emerging technology with tremendous promise for livestock agriculture,causing American agriculture to fall behind in the global race to advance its development. Thankfully, under a recently proposed rule, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will have primary regulatory jurisdiction, which “will foster innovation, allow for producer access to this technology, and preserve the preeminence of American agriculture globally,” the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) wrote in comments submitted Wednesday to the agency.

Gene editing is used to make specific changes within an animal’s own genome. Gene editing will allow us to produce animals that are more disease-resistant, require fewer antibiotics and with...

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Jan 18 8:25 AM, General News


USDA Provides More than $70 Million in 2021 to Protect Agriculture from Plant Pests and Diseases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $70 million to support 383 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, to safeguard the nursery production system and to respond to plant pest emergencies. Universities, states, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, and Tribal organizations will carry out selected projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

“State governments, academic institutions, and other essential cooperators across the country use these USDA funds to protect American crops and natural resources and...

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Jan 5 10:32 AM, General News


Anti-Meat Activist Poses as Smithfield Foods CEO on National Television 

Last week, animal activist Matt Johnson of Direct Action Everywhere, posed as the CEO of Smithfield Foods during a national television interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. On December 23, 2020, Bartiromo thought she was speaking with Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ. However, she and her audience were being misled. 

During the interview, Johnson blamed animal agriculture for new infectious diseases and made false claims that the Centers for Disease Control has data proving that the livestock industry would...

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Dec 29 10:13 AM, Urner Barry


USDA Announces Dr. Carrie Castille as New NIFA Director

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that President Trump has named Dr. Carrie Castille as the new, six year term director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Dr. Castille will start her new role on Monday, January 4, 2021.

“Dr. Castille is a trusted leader in economic development and public policy and has more than 20 years’ experience in the agricultural sector. Her passion for agricultural research, teaching, and...

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Dec 24 8:22 AM, General News


Secretary Perdue Announces Proposal to Transfer Animal Biotechnology Regulatory Framework to USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a significant step in modernizing regulations of agricultural animals modified or produced by genetic engineering. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be moving forward with an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public input and feedback on a contemplated regulatory framework that would modernize our system into a scientifically-sound, risk-based, and predictable process that facilitates the development and use of these technologies for...

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Dec 23 8:21 AM, General News


Meat and Poultry Industry Reacts to COVID-19 Stimulus Package 

The COVID-19 stimulus bill agreed upon by Congress contains language that would authorize the USDA to provide up to $1 billion in assistance to contract chicken growers for revenue losses sustained because of the pandemic. According to the bill, the fund is specifically for contract growers of livestock and poultry to cover up to 80% of revenue losses.

Mike Brown, President of the National Chicken Council, said, "On behalf of the chicken industry and our farm families across the country, I want to personally thank Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) for his leadership and his support in helping to secure this vital funding...

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Dec 22 10:04 AM, Urner Barry


Policy Issues Affecting the Meat Industry 

In a webinar hosted by the North American Meat Institute, experts explored what is on the horizon for trade policy, industry structure, and antitrust as President-elect Biden is set to occupy the White House come January. These Washington D.C. insiders shared a wealth of experience and valuable insights as the meat industry navigates new policy dynamics.

Panelists included Ambassador Darci Vetter, former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, USTR and Global Lead, Public Affairs and Vice Chair, Agriculture and Food, Edelman; and...

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Dec 10 8:22 AM, Urner Barry


Election Results – Where Are We Now? 

With the Presidential election, the House, and a runoff election to determine the Senate Majority, the only thing certain in Washington is change. In a webinar hosted by the North American Meat Institute, a panel of experts provided insights and discussed the outcome of key races, the make-up of committees and leadership of Congress, pending changes of cabinet officials, and a new relationship between the White House and Congress, which together shape the agenda in Washington.

Panelists included the Honorable Blanche Lincoln, former Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry and Founder & Principal, Lincoln Policy Group; the Honorable Krysta Harden, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; and...

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Dec 9 8:18 AM, Urner Barry


Agrimoney Presents Ag Trade Following the U.S. Election Webinar

For this webinar Agrimoney’s Editor in Chief, Mike Verdin, will be joined by some of agriculture’s most prominent voices – including David Hightower, President of The Hightower Report, Dan Basse, President of AgResource, and Louis Rose, Co-founder of Rose Commodity Group – to discuss the future for ag now that Joe Biden is to become US president.

This will include...

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Nov 18 8:28 AM, General News


PODCAST: Facilitating Progess, Navigating Change - Sarah Beth Aubrey from Elevate Ag

This week Sarah Beth Aubrey, Author, Executive Coach, Podcaster, and Owner of Elevate Ag, talks about the unique challenges for agricultural professionals that the pandemic has underlined. Engaging the workforce from the frontline up...

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Nov 3 11:02 AM, Urner Barry


USTR and USDA Release Report on Agricultural Trade Between the United States and China

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a report highlighting the progress made to date in implementing the agricultural provisions in the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, which is delivering historic results for American agriculture.

Since the Agreement entered into force, the United States and China have addressed a multitude of structural barriers in China that had been impeding exports of U.S. food and agricultural products. To date, China has implemented at least...

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Oct 27 8:20 AM, General News


Cargill Study Shows Consumer Support of Farmers Grows As a Result of COVID-19 Challenges

A recent Cargill study found a majority of consumers stand ready to rally around farmers in support of their efforts to put food on tables around the globe. Consumer recognition for the challenges and expectations farmers face grew amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as processing and transportation bottlenecks, especially in the protein industry, stretched the global food supply. In the latest Feed4Thought survey, Cargill found nearly one-third of consumers in the U.S., Brazil, Vietnam and Norway have a renewed appreciation for animal agriculture.

“Farmers and ranchers have faced tremendous pressures caused by COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. And those pressures came on top of the multitude of challenges farmers already faced as they worked to feed the world in...

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Oct 15 8:25 AM, General News




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