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NLPA News Brief
June 21, 2017
Livestock and Ag Credit News

'Beef. It's What's for Dinner.' Facebook Page Nears Milestone

Perishable News, 06/20/17— As the calendar clicks off days in June, the checkoff's team of digital strategists are on the edges of their seats. Why? They are watching the number of "Likes" on the "Beef. It's What's For Dinner." Facebook page because it's expected to surpass the one million mark!

A very targeted and focused digital advertising campaign was born in 2014, specifically to reach older millennial parents, who were the largest segment on Facebook. The beef checkoff program used Facebook to share beef information with this group so they would feel more confident to purchase, prepare and enjoy beef with family and friends.

Through an integrated approach, driven by website advertising and search to reach the target audience, social plays a critical role in establishing a relationship with millennial consumers like never before. It's a modern approach to customer service, enabling consumer to interact with their favorite brands which builds trust and the ultimate goal of purchase trial.

"Facebook is the optimal platform for connecting with consumers as they're seeking new information about family, lifestyle and health," says Janna Stubbs, co–chair of the checkoff's Consumer Trust committee and a beef producer from Alpine, Texas. "Not only is Facebook efficient for our checkoff dollars, but it is also a key platform to reach those audiences who want to know more about beef in a meaningful way."

GIPSA NEWS: 06/16/17

Livestock and Ag Credit News

2017 Joint Strategy Forum on Livestock Traceability Scheduled for September 26 & 27, 2017

NIAA News, 06/20/17—The National Institute for Animal Agriculture and the US Animal Health Association will co–host a Forum to discuss the important issue of livestock traceability in Denver, Colorado this September. Featuring industry participants, state animal health officials and representatives from the Veterinary Services area of the USAHA, and all others interested in Livestock Traceability, the Forum will provide an opportunity to define and discuss the issues and potential solutions to help further develop livestock traceability for animals including cattle, swine, sheep and goats, equine and poultry.

Livestock traceability efforts have become more systemized every year, with traditional identification methods continuing to be used side–by–side with new technologies. Collaboration among producers, commercial interests and regulatory agencies at both the state and federal level have had increasing impact, with recent infectious animal disease outbreaks in the swine and poultry industries adding urgency to implementing traceability as an important aspect of biosecurity.

The Joint Strategy Forum will be held September 26 –27, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Denver–Stapleton North, Denver, Colorado. Registration opens soon on the NIAA website

Why Is There No Insurance for Livestock Producers?

By Ronald Beare, AgWeek, 06/19/17— The news is constantly inundated with concerns about the Federal Crop Insurance Program with regard to programs currently provided and consideration of possible changes by the new administration.

In all of this, there is no mention of Federal Livestock Insurance for farmers and ranchers who are in drought now and have experienced past droughts. Both winter and summer storms cause them to downsize or disperse their generational herds or lose them by casualty.

Why are their counterparts, the cereal grain producers (in many instances cereal grain producers are also livestock producers), provided federal assistance for products that have the same or similar impact in feeding our nation and the world?

Why is this not perceived by our government representatives, farm organizations, livestock organizations and most of all, by the livestock producers themselves?

Drought in Dakotas Worsens, Selling Cattle in Mile–Long Lines

By Ashley Davenport, AgWeb, 06/20/17— Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R–SD) has declared a statewide emergency because of the ongoing drought conditions in his state.

The most recent drought monitor shows 80 percent of the Mount Rushmore State is at some level of dryness or drought. As part of the state of emergency, South Dakota will ease haying and transportation restrictions to assist ag producers.

Meanwhile in North Dakota, Doug Goehring, state agriculture commissioner, got a first–hand look at the drought conditions. Goehring says there was a four to five–inch rainfall deficit from March 10 to June 10 in central North Dakota.

He says it is "heartbreaking" to see livestock producers lined up for almost a mile at auction markets. With a lack of adequate grazing and feed, they're selling their genetics that took years to build. There have been calls to open Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to early haying and grazing.

Suit Filed to Require Country–Of–Origin Labeling on Meat Products

KTIC RADIO, 06/20/17— The Ranchers–Cattlemen Legal Action Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R–CALF USA) and Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW) have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington Monday against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The suit alleges that USDA regulations that allow beef and pork to be classified as "domestic products," even when those meat products are imported from other countries, confuse consumers and harm American farmers.

Public Justice and the Terrell Marshall Law Group filed the complaint , arguing that the USDA regulations violate the text of the Meat Inspection Act. The Act requires that the more than 800 million pounds of beef born, raised and slaughtered annually in other countries and then imported to the United States should include labeling indicating the meat's country of origin.

Under current USDA rules, however, multinational companies can sell meat raised and slaughtered abroad with a "Product of USA" label alongside truly domestic products raised by U.S. ranchers. Country–of–Origin Labeling (COOL), when properly implemented, helps cut through this labeling confusion and allows customers to select domestic goods, if they prefer, which in turn rewards producers who work within domestic laws and regulations.

In addition to the regulatory changes this suit demands, COOL is also expected to be an issue in the NAFTA re–negotiations President Trump has told Congress he plans to undertake. NAFTA currently restricts labeling on imported live cattle and hogs from Canada and Mexico, even though more than 90 percent of consumers say they want to know whether the meat they eat was born, raised, or slaughtered abroad.

USDA Advances "Modernization of Pork Slaughter" Rule

National Law Review, 06/19/17— Earlier this Spring, we reported that USDA's Food Safety & Inspection Service intends to move forward with plans to modernize swine slaughter inspections by way of a "Modernization of Pork Slaughter" rule.

The new rule – which has garnered significant industry support – aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal inspection process and to allow for the rapid adoption of new food safety technologies in pork slaughter.

The rule could potentially lead to an increase in U.S. hog slaughter capacity. The rule also calls for certain food safety responsibilities to be shifted from federal inspectors to packing plant workers and could thus lead to faster pork production lines.

Although some pushback is expected from food and worker safety advocates, the "Modernization of Pork Slaughter" rule – which bears many similarities to the "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection" rule – is anticipated to ultimately become law.

Implementing FDA's Guidance 213 Benefits Livestock Producers

The Pig Site, 06/20/17— On 1 January, the US Food and Drug Administration's guidance 213, which prohibits using medically important antibiotics in human medicine for anything in veterinary medicine other than disease treatment, control and prevention and mandates veterinary oversight for any such use of took effect.

Dr Liz Wagstrom, the Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council, says the change has impacted everyone from the producer on the farm to the veterinary clinic to the feed mill.

"We think it's helped producers and veterinarians have a stronger working relationship," says Wagstrom. "Then looping in the feed mill, that often times was not a partner in those discussions, has also been very positive. It's also meant a lot more paperwork for producers and veterinarians and feed mills, lots of questions on how we specifically comply with the intent of the rule.

"We have yet to see, I think it will probably be a year or two before we'll actually see if it has impacted quantities of use or what types of delivery systems are used or things to that effect. One of the great things about this was you had producers and veterinarians sit down and say what are we currently using in 2016 and is that still necessary? Has it become a habit that we should reconsider? "

Global Livestock News

Rose: First Shipment of U.S. Beef Reaches China

The Des Moines Register, 06/17/17—A rose to U.S. beef in China. Nothing beats a steak on Father's Day, except maybe a deal to deliver the meat to the world's second–largest economy. Greater Omaha Packing Co. said it shipped beef by plane to China from Nebraska last week, opening a market that's been closed since the mad cow disease scare in 2003. China has for years promised to lift the import ban, but the Trump administration was able to secure the deal after the Mar–a–Lago summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The beef industry and Iowa's congressional delegation lobbied the new administration to make it a priority in negotiations with China. Only a few producers will be able to meet the agreement's specifications, such as tracing the animal's place of birth. It's a start, however, and the result will benefit livestock producers as well as Chinese consumers.

Pork Industry Sees Rising Global Demand

Farm Journal's Pork, 06/15/17—Strong profitability and rising global demand create a strong incentive for U.S. pork processors to expand capacity. The impending increase in demand for hog supplies will create favorable terms for producers, while intensified competition among processors could lead to a short–term compression in packer margins, according to a new report from CoBank.

"U.S. pork packing capacity will increase 8% to 10% by mid–2019, when five processing facility construction projects are complete and fully operational," said Trevor Amen, an economist with CoBank who specializes in animal protein. "Hog production is expected to increase 2% to 4% percent in both 2017 and 2018 to meet the demand for more supplies."

Three new state–of–the–art pork processing facilities with the capacity to process more than 10,000 hogs per day are currently under construction. Two of the facilities are being built in Iowa and one in Michigan. Two smaller plants with daily capacities of less than 5,000 head are being renovated in Missouri and Minnesota.

"As each of the new projects comes online, hog supplies will adjust upward," said Amen."Transitional market conditions such as these typically come with increased price volatility over the short term, and bargaining leverage will shift in favor of producers as the expansion of hog supplies catches up with processing capacity."

However, lean hog prices may soften until a new market equilibrium is established and an increase in exports fills the demand gap, added Amen.

Global Livestock News

USDA Surveying Cattle Operations

Lancaster Farming, 06/17/17 —In July, the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service will survey about 9,300 cattle operations nationwide to provide an up–to–date measure of U.S. cattle inventories.

During the first two weeks of July, Northeastern producers will have the opportunity to report their beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop, death loss and cattle on feed information.

To make it as easy as possible for producers to participate in the survey, NASS offers the option of responding via the internet, telephone, mail or a personal interview with a local NASS representative.

The July Cattle report will be released on July 21 at For more information, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at 800–498–1518.

Senate Ag Hearing Focuses on Funding for Ag Research

By Meghan Grebner, Brownfield Ag News, 06/15/17—Available funding for research is a big concern as debate continues on the 2018 Farm Bill. The Senate Ag Committee held its fourth hearing on the Farm Bill as it prepares for reauthorization.

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs–Young with the Agricultural Research Service says ARS is faced with another big budget cut for 2018. She says the President's proposed budget cuts would force the USDA to make cuts at research facilities.

"The ARS has a reduction of 161–million–dollars," she says. "As you can imagine – over the past years because budgets have not grown tremendously, we've done a big job of trying to look across our portfolio and using data to streamline and consolidate. We're at the point today where every decision we make is a tough one."

Seventeen USDA sites face possible closure under President Trump's proposed budget.

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