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NLPA News Brief
October 11, 2017
Livestock and Ag Credit News

Beef Is Back for Dinner as Marketers Woo Nostalgic Millennials

By Alexandra Bruell, The Wall Street Journal, 10/05/17—Beef is back for dinner.

The U.S. beef industry is resurrecting its 25–year–old tagline, "Beef. It's What's for Dinner," in a marketing campaign aimed at millennials that have childhood memories of the slogan and want to know more about their food.

The social–media campaign from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association combines nostalgic elements, such as the tagline and narration that alludes to the "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" nursery rhyme, with a more modern story line about how beef farmers and ranchers are using technology.

In the online–only ad, created by WPP –owned agency VML, a rancher uses a drone and an app to keep track of his herd. "Ranch tools sure have changed," the narrator says, as the camera sweeps across a cattle ranch.

The association revived the campaign to appeal to young consumers—especially millennial parents—who want to know the origins of their food, while playing homage to the beef brand, said Alisa Harrison, senior vice president of global marketing and research at the Beef Association.

GIPSA NEWS: 10/05/17

Livestock and Ag Credit News

Cattle Income Something to Bawl About

By Scott Brown, American Agriculturist, 10/09/17—Farm income data recently released by USDA highlights the importance of the cattle industry to our nation's farm finances.

Even after subtracting all livestock and poultry expenses from cattle and calves' cash receipts to avoid double–counting — as receipts accrue every time an animal changes hands prior to its final destination — the total is projected to be just shy of $45 billion this year.

While it is a little unfair to charge all purchased livestock and poultry expenses against cattle cash receipts, as other animals may be sold multiple times during the production process besides cattle, USDA does not provide details regarding this expense category; and the vast majority does accrue within the cattle industry. Nonetheless, the accompanying figure shows that cattle receipts have increased their presence within major livestock categories, more than doubling since the late 1990s.

5 Numbers To Get You Through Pork Month

By Kevin Schulz, National Hog Farmer, 10/06/17—Feeding the world is a big task, but U.S. producers are up to it. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Hallmark is really missing out by not offering cards for Pork Month; I mean who doesn't want to share their love of pork by sending someone a card to show them just how much you care — about them, and of course about pork.

But, since Hallmark dropped the ball on bacon greetings, I'll do my best to get you in the mood for Porktober.Here are some numbers for you to digest while chewing on some bacon, or a chop.

55,000–There are more than 55,000 hog farms in the United States, and those support more than 800,000 jobs.

22 billion–Yes, that's right, 22 billion pounds of pork is produced in the United States each year.

27– This year 27% of U.S. pork production is finding its way into export channels.

40.1–The world can't get enough pork, as it is the most widely consumed animal protein on planet earth, coming in at 40.1%, outdistancing poultry at 34.1%.

5–In 1959, it took eight pigs to produce 1,000 pounds of pork. Today, it takes just five pigs. — using 78% less land, 41% less water and shrinking the carbon footprint by 35% compared to 50 years ago.

Pork Producers Expanding, Creating More Opportunities

The Independent, 10/09/17—October is National Pork Month. Pork is considered "the other white meat" and is a healthy alternative to red meat.According to the Minnesota Farm Guide, the pork industry is experiencing a major growth spurt. A growing world population and improving U.S. economy is helping to drive that growth spurt. The Minnesota Farm Guide says the U.S. percent share of world pork exports has gone from single digits in the early 1990s to more than 30 percent in recent years.

Meanwhile, expansion leads to challenges and opportunities. Public criticism of the pork industry centers around animal welfare and health. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals accuses the pork industry of keeping animals in severely cramped pens and in filth.

Of course, the growing demand creates more opportunities for agriculture entrepreneurship and employment. Minnesota ranks third in the number of pigs its farmers raise and second in value of pork producers. And that pork producing expansion can be seen right here in southwest Minnesota.

The National Pork Board Extends the Taste of Now Campaign

Perishable News, 10/05/17—The National Pork Board (NPB) has engaged three industry–leading chefs to demonstrate how pork can work for both commercial kitchens and for consumers. The chefs will highlight the Taste of Now campaign that will run from October, which is National Pork Month, through December.

The campaign will feature pork cuts that deliver great flavor and value. "The bone–in pork loin brings big flavor to the table and is an affordable, appetizing way to hook consumers," said Steve Rommereim, a farmer from Alcester, South Dakota and vice president of the National Pork Board. "Its boneless counterpart offers delicious, quick–cooking versatility. The pork shoulder lends itself to multiple flavor applications and cooking styles, while ham, really does it all. From crave–worthy sandwiches to center–of–plate entrĂ©es, its smoky flavor makes it a must–have."

Finishing Pigs Benefit from Pelletized Essential Oil

By Gretchen Rops, Dordt College—Sioux Center, Iowa; Brad Rops and Bob Thaler, South Dakota State University, National Hog Farmer, 10/05/17—It appears that an oregano–based essential oil is beneficial to finishing pig performance, and that the effect is enhanced by pelleting.

With the expansion of the veterinary feed directive in 2017, U.S. pork producers have lost the use of most feed–grade antibiotics for growth promotion. Also, with producers promoting the responsible use of antibiotics in pork production, they are making changes in management, nutrition, biosecurity, environment, etc., to decrease the need for those products with relatively good success. One tool that has been receiving close attention by U.S. producers recently is the use of essential oils in swine diets.

Essential oils have been used in Europe as a replacement for antibiotics, and have been reported to possess antimicrobial and antioxidant activities for both pigs and poultry. Data from research trials have been mixed, but it appears that essential oils can be effective in improving pig health and growth performance.

Food Company Removing Non–GMO Labels

Hoosier Ag Today, 10/09/17—Mann Packing will remove the "non–GMO" label term from select products because the company says it "doesn't want to perpetuate a fear that something is wrong with GMOs."

The company is turning an about–face, after getting some products verified under the Non–GMO Project. It is removing the non–GMO verified check from its single–cut lettuce products in its next print run, according to the company's director of corporate marketing. A company spokesperson said, "There is no GMO lettuce. It made us go: Why are we doing this?"

Mann sells other products that do not have the non–GMO verified check, but include copy stating they are GMO–free on the packaging. The company is discussing removing that label, as well.

Global Livestock News

Public Input Sought on Sustainable Beef Indicators

Canadian Cattlemen, 10/09/17—Ranchers, consumers and others who have thoughts on how beef and its cattle should be sustainably produced in Canada are asked to speak up again, this time by early November at the latest.

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), in the midst of developing a Verified Sustainable Beef Framework, has released its new draft list of sustainability indicators, which "reflect what will be measured to evaluate sustainable practices across the beef value chain," for public consultations.

"Based on feedback from the first consultation, indicators have been refined, and more detailed metrics across the three levels of the scoring system have been added," Page Stuart, an Alberta cattle feeder who co–chaired the roundtable committee that developed the indicators, said in a release Thursday.
The comment period for "final public input" on the sustainability indicators opened Thursday and will run until Nov. 4.

Agriculture Cannot Be a Trade Talk Weapon

By Cheryl Day, National Hog Farmer, 10/09/17—Do not use agriculture as a pawn in trade negotiation game, stresses Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue prior to the fourth round of North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

United States, Canada and Mexico trade negotiators will return to the table this Wednesday in Washington to discuss the revamping of this landmark trade agreement.

Perdue expresses his disappointment in the previous rounds of NAFTA talk's pace. However, he reminds everyone that the discussion is more like a championship boxing match.

"If you ever watch a boxing match they circle one another for a while," Perdue notes. "I think we are done circling. So we are going to lay some things on the table in the next round.

Global Livestock News

National and State Cattle Groups Urge Congress To Restore Lost Competition

Tri–State Livestock News, 10/5/17—Yesterday, national cattle association R–CALF USA, along with over 15 state and local groups representing America's cattle ranchers, joined in a letter with 210 organizations to send a strong message to Congress as deliberations begin on the 2018 Farm Bill.

"Our message tells Congress it's time to quit kowtowing to multinational agribusinesses at the expense of America's family farmers and ranchers, workers and consumers," said R–CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard adding, "In short, our message is that Congress must begin putting America's interest ahead of the interests of multinational corporations."

The joint letter addresses several key issues that the groups say are contributing to the decline in the number of American ranches. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show the number of U.S. cattle ranches have declined over 40 percent since large agribusiness corporations began their merger and acquisition frenzy in the 80s.

The letter encourages Congress to reinstate country of origin labeling (COOL) by stating that Congress must "set clear labeling standards to give consumers information about the origin and production methods associated with the food they purchase.

"Congress should reject attempts by agribusinesses to undermine proper market functioning with their arguments against fair, open and transparent markets and labeling," the groups assert.

The groups further emphasis putting America first by stating foreign ownership of U.S. agriculture is undermining U.S. farm income and draining resources from rural communities. This "should raise alarm bells," the letter states.

EPA to Require Air Release Reporting From Livestock Farms

By Tom Steever, Brownfield Ag News,10/06/17—The Environmental Protection Agency says, beginning November 15, the agency will require farmers to report air releases of hazardous substances from animal wastes.

According to the EPA website, in April, a DC Circuit Court vacated a 2008 EPA rule that had exempted farms from reporting if those farms confined fewer than a certain number of animals.

In response to a request from EPA, the DC Court extended until November 15 the date that farms have to start reporting these releases.

The EPA says it will have guidelines developed by October 16 to assist farmers in meeting the reporting requirements. The EPA website says that will give farmers time to review the guidance and comply with the reporting requirements.

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