Tag Archives: Ranching

With the beef industry going through continuous changes and advancements, it is important cattlemen and women across the country are “in the know”, which is where the Cattlemen’s Education Series (CES) comes into play. This partnership between the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association(NCBA) is designed to provide resources to NCBA state and breed affiliates through a grant which allows them to extend outstanding educational experiences locally. The mission of the CES is to provide cutting-edge information to beef producers that contributes to increased knowledge, profitability and sustainability.

 

With approximately 32 percent of the Nation’s 2018 corn crop being utilized as animal feed, this partnership is important as it promotes corn products and by-products utilized in the cattle industry.

 

“I understand the importance of being able to deliver a quality product for my customers,” said Missouri farmer Gary Porter. “I take pride knowing the crop I grow will end up in so many outlets.”

 

Porter also serves as the liaison to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for the National Corn Growers Association. “Our ability to produce an abundant and high-quality crop, makes corn an attractive feedstock for current and future end users.”

 

The recent advances in corn fractionation technology, provides the opportunity for more tailored, species specific distillers feed products, in addition to the great value that present DDGS bring today.

 

“As a cattle producer, I have confidence in the U.S. corn crop and the value that corn and DDGS bring to my cattle and operation,” said NCBA Vice President Jerry Bohn. “It is good to see the various partnerships from NCGA and the state corn affiliates to increase beef demand, especially exports through USMEF. NCGA also shows their commitment to cattlemen via the Cattlemen Education Series grant program that supports cutting edge education for beef producers that contributes to their increased knowledge, profitability and sustainability.”

 

Although the NCGA funded grant program is still young, NCBA has awarded over forty CES grants across the country. Look for upcoming CES events in your area.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today sent a letter signed by 39 of its state affiliates to U.S. Senate and House leaders urging them to support the swift ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is NCBA’s latest salvo in the battle to build support for USMCA ratification, coming less than two weeks after the group launched a new media campaign to push the accord.

“American cattle producers need to maintain our unrestricted, duty-free access to markets in Canada and Mexico, and that’s exactly what USMCA would guarantee us,” said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “Jeopardizing that access by having Congress not take action on USMCA is simply not an option for us.”

In addition to calling on Congress to quickly ratify USMCA, the letter also encouraged the Capitol Hill leaders to oppose efforts to re-instate failed policies of the past, such as mandatory country-of-origin labeling, or MCOOL.

“MCOOL was U.S. law for six years until it was repealed by Congress in 2015 to avoid $1 billion of retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico that were sanctioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the letter says. “The truth is MCOOL cost the U.S. beef industry hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, and the vast majority of consumers never paid attention to it. Our industry has suffered enough with this bad idea and we do not need to relive the sins of the past.”

Click here to read the full letter, and click here to view NCBA’s “Faces of USMCA” media campaign, which launched in June.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A road maintenance official is pushing back against suggestions that the Kansas Department of Transportation is to blame for an invasion of a plant threatening native grasses.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that KDOT’s potential role in spreading bluestem grass is a point of contention as the state Department of Agriculture contemplates quarantining invasive varieties now in 103 of 105 of the state’s counties.

Ranchers and others attending a Department of Agriculture comment session last month on a possible quarantine said KDOT’s mowing regimen carried seed for invasive grasses to new roads.

KDOT maintenance chief Clay Adams said the agency includes bluestem varieties in seeding mixtures applied beside highways but not the invasive varieties targeted by the Department of Agriculture. KDOT mows from April to October to improve visibility for motorists.

Supporters of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement have been pushing for some time to see a summer vote on the deal. They’d like Congress to ratify the deal before they head off on their August recess. However, House Democrats say they’re not in a hurry to hold a vote.

That pre-recess legislative window is getting closer to slamming shut. Politico says Democratic lawmakers have said for some time that a summer deadline to pass the agreement wasn’t realistic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nine-member working group is holding meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to address potential changes to the agreement.

As a result, some aides think that there may still be a chance to get the deal ratified in 2019. One aide tells Politico that a September vote is possible, depending on how far Lighthizer can or is willing to go to address Democrat concerns on enforcement, labor, environment, and drug pricing provisions in the deal. Many legislators, officials, and industry observers in Washington agree that once the presidential election year begins, the chances of ratifying USMCA will plummet.

Now that President Trump and Chinese President Jinping have agreed to a temporary trade truce, Trump says China has promised to buy large amounts of ag products from U.S. farmers.

A Politico report looked into what products that shopping list might include. Soybeans are likely to be on top of the list. Soybean farmers have been hit hardest by Trump’s trade war because China was once the top export market for U.S. soybeans. Beijing bought another 544,000 metric tons last week, its largest buy since March. Pork might be another key item on the list as pork producers have also been hit hard by the trade feuds, especially with China and Mexico.

As African Swine Fever continues to ravage China’s once-giant herds, Beijing could now turn to U.S. hog farmers to fill in the country’s appetite for protein. Politico also says that ethanol exports to China could potentially grow. That would help ease some pressure on corn growers and biofuel producers, a key constituency that’s complained the administration’s trade policies are harming demand for ethanol.

The only question is that China doesn’t maintain government reserves of ethanol and the tariffs are currently prohibitive. As of right now, there isn’t a lot of space for China to buy up huge amounts of the biofuel.

MINNEAPOLIS and PARIS/PRNewswire/ — Cargill and InnovaFeed have entered into a strategic partnership to bring sustainable and innovative feed options to the animal nutrition industry. Through the partnership, Cargill and InnovaFeed will collaborate to jointly market fish feed which includes insect protein, enabling both partners to support the growth of sustainable aquaculture.

“We recognize that the planet has finite resources,” said Pilar Cruz, president of Cargill’s compound feed business. “It is our job to find innovative feed options for our customers that protect the planet and support sustainable protein production.”

InnovaFeed’s circular economy approach brings added sustainability benefits as the company uses co-products from the agriculture production of starch and sugar to feed black soldier fly larvae known as Hermetia illucens. Once the larvae reach a certain stage, protein and oil are extracted from the larvae, to be used in feed for pets, aquaculture species and young animals like broilers and piglets.

“By upcycling local cereal co-products and repurposing insect waste as an organic fertilizer, InnovaFeed’s products truly have a positive environmental impact,” said Clement Ray, chief executive officer, InnovaFeed. “We’re also able to have a positive impact on climate change by saving 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year with each 10,000-ton-production unit1 by feeding insect meal to animals. That is equivalent to removing 14,000 cars off the roads.”

InnovaFeed’s team of more than 60 engineers and technicians have developed an innovative process allowing them to produce high-quality insect meal at an industrial scale. Over the past three years, InnovaFeed has led multiple trials demonstrating that its insect protein can be an effective alternative to fishmeal used in salmon or shrimp feed with equal or improved performance.

“We’ve seen a strong acceptance of our products by consumers looking for natural and sustainable products,” said Maye Walraven, head of business development for InnovaFeed. Insect-fed trout has been commercialized in France since June of last year.

“This partnership will not only enable our salmon and shrimp customers to differentiate their product lines to meet consumer needs, but we’ll also be responsibly managing resources, enabling both companies to support the growth of sustainable aquaculture and make a positive impact at a global scale,” said Adriano Marcon, president of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business.

“We found the ideal partner in InnovaFeed,” added Helene Ziv, director of risk management and sourcing for Cargill’s animal nutrition business. “We have a shared purpose—offering innovative, sustainable solutions to meet the nutritional needs of our growing population and our customers.”

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ratify a new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada, making it the first of the three countries to gain legislative approval.

Mexico’s upper chamber voted 114 to four with three abstentions in favor of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to withdraw the United States from if Washington did not get a better deal.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a recorded message that the vote was “very good news.”

“It means foreign investment in Mexico, it means jobs in Mexico, it means guaranteeing trade of the merchandise that we produce in the United States,” he said.

The treaty does not need to be approved by Mexico’s lower house. It is still awaiting consideration by lawmakers in the United States and Canada, however.

“Congratulations to President Lopez Obrador — Mexico voted to ratify the USMCA today by a huge margin. Time for Congress to do the same here!” Trump tweeted.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement applauded Mexico’s ratification as “a crucial step forward.”

Ratification of the deal still faces some opposition in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

The United States is by far Mexico’s biggest export market and its easy passage through the legislature had been expected. The approval came after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods if López Obrador didn’t reduce the flow of U.S.-bound illegal immigration from Central America, a threat that was later suspended.

The USMCA was hammered out last year by delegations representing then-President Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and then-President-elect López Obrador, of the left-leaning Morena, ensuring that both the outgoing and the incoming administrations were on board. López Obrador took office Dec. 1, a day after the agreement was signed.

Mexican lawmakers had already executed a series of labor reforms that the U.S. had demanded.

Mexico’s economy ministry said that with Senate approval “Mexico sends a clear message in favor of an open economy and of deepening its economic integration in the region.”

Mexico’s peso strengthened moderately against the dollar to 19.03 Wednesday, though the main factor was the U.S. Federal Reserve signaling that it was prepared to cut interest rates if needed to protect the U.S. economy, according to Gabriela Siller, economic analysis director at Banco BASE.

The United States buys about 80% of Mexican exports, some $358 billion worth last year. In the first quarter of 2019 the two countries did $203 billion in two-way trade, making Mexico the United States’ No. 1 commercial partner for the first time, ahead of Canada and China, according to the Mexican Economy Department.

Sen. Ricardo Monreal, leader of the governing party in the Senate, said the vote was “an important step to diminish the existing uncertainty for North American trade.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to Washington, D.C. this week, as part of an effort to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The trade deal has the least path of resistance in Mexico, where lawmakers are expected to ratify the agreement this month.

The trade deal also faces a quick route to passage in Canada, leaving passage in the U.S. the toughest battle to fully ratify the agreement. Canada expects final consideration of the agreement before September. Trudeau is scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with a planned meeting Thursday with President Donald Trump, according to Reuters.

Trump, along with agriculture groups, have pushed for quick passage of the agreement. However, House Democrats want more time to review the agreement, pressing for potential changes. The agreement must first pass the U.S. House before the Senate can consider the agreement. Nearly 1,000 agriculture groups together last week urged Congress and the Trump administration to finish the agreement.

LINCOLN, NEB. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to slash meat consumption in schools and other city facilities is being slammed in a letter by Nebraska Farm Bureau. De Blasio’s Green New Deal, a wide-ranging initiative, includes reducing purchases of beef by 50 percent at all city-controlled facilities, including schools, prisons and hospitals.

“This ‘strategic initiative’ aimed at reducing the city’s contribution toward climate change ignores both climate and nutritional science, and only serves to further divide urban and rural populations. As the largest agricultural organization representing the second largest beef producing state, we urge you to reconsider this initiative and help us tell the great story of beef sustainability,” Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president wrote June 13.

New York City also plans to phase out all processed meat products purchased by city agencies. The agricultural sector, and beef in particular, has become the focus of attention by activists who want to highlight the impact eating meat has on global carbon emissions.

“Unfortunately, one of the most harmful and erroneous myths that exist in public discourse today is that U.S. beef production is destroying the planet. The truth, which is backed by peer-reviewed science, is that U.S. beef producers are producing far more beef with fewer inputs and contribute fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than what they are blamed for,” Nelson said.

According to a study recently published in the academic journal Agricultural Systems, beef cattle production only accounted for 3.3 percent of all U.S.GHG. By comparison, transportation, and electricity generation together produced 56 percent. It is also important to note that when compared to 1977, today’s beef producers produce the same amount of beef with 33 percent fewer animals.

“This improved efficiency has reduced the industry’s carbon footprint by 16 percent and has reduced the industry’s consumption of both water and feed as well. Outside of the environmental factors, it should also be noted that today’s beef industry contributes to rangeland health, medical, and pharmaceutical products/research, as well as being one of the most healthy and nutrient rich food products available,” he stated.

Farmers and ranchers are the original environmentalist. Advancements made in U.S. plant and animal technology, genetics, and nutrition have created the most efficient and environmentally friendly food system in the history of the world.

“Unfortunately, despite our success, many of those whose only connection to production agriculture involves three meals a day, seem to be the most vocal about what they perceive are the shortcomings in our industry. It is our hope you look beyond your own very large urban backyard and come visit the American farm and ranch families who devote their lives to producing the food, fiber, and fuel. We would be happy to host you in Nebraska at any time,” Nelson wrote.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The American Angus Association announced Mark McCully as chief executive officer. McCully will start his role June 10. As CEO, he will lead the Association and serve as the vice chairman for each of the Association’s entities: Angus Media, Certified Angus Beef LLC, Angus Genetics Inc., and the Angus Foundation.

“This truly is a proud day for the Association and the breed,” said John Pfeiffer, Association Board of Directors president. “Mark has grown up in the cattle business and possesses unique insight into all segments of beef production, his knowledge and leadership have served CAB well, and he will help to continue to drive the demand for Angus genetics globally.”

McCully brings 23 years of experience to the table, most recently serving as vice president of production for CAB. In his role, Mark drove supply chain innovation for the brand and helped develop and implement best management practices with cattlemen to increase brand acceptance rates. In addition, Mark led global production initiatives, streamlining processes for improved product quality, and served in many industry leadership positions.

“I’m honored and truly thrilled to serve this incredible breed and its membership,” McCully said. “The Association has such a rich and successful heritage. That history, coupled with breeders always striving to produce the best Angus cattle in the world, and an incredibly bright and talented staff, I have nothing but optimism and excitement for our future.”

McCully started at CAB in 2000 as director of packing before developing and coordinating a regional sales team, and in 2005, he transitioned to supply development and production. Prior to joining CAB, he worked for Southern States Cooperative where he managed the beef improvement program and value-added feeder cattle marketing programs for cattlemen within a 22-state region. He also served as an intercollegiate livestock judging team coach, taught livestock evaluation classes and coordinated the animal science department undergraduate internship program at Michigan State University before joining Southern States.

He graduated with his Associate’s Degree from Lake Land College, Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University and conducted master’s research in ruminant nutrition and feedlot management at Michigan State University, where he studied under three Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery inductees — Dr. Dave Hawkins, Dr. Maynard Hogberg and Dr. Harlan Ritchie.

McCully was raised on a small family farm in central Illinois. As a youth, he was very involved in showing cattle, livestock judging, actively engaged in 4-H and FFA, and was awarded the FFA Star Farmer of Illinois in 1989. McCully currently resides in Wooster, Ohio, with his wife, Gerry. They have two children. Austin will be a junior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in computer science and economics with plans of attending law school. Maddy will be a senior in high school and in the process of making her college selection to pursue a degree in neuroscience.

For more information about the American Angus Association and the new CEO, please visit angus.org.