Following speculation that the U.S. might be preparing to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), President Trump agreed Wednesday evening to renegotiate the 23-year-old agreement with Canada and Mexico and “not to terminate NAFTA at this time.”
Consumers like technology. The smart phone, the smart home and the smart classroom all encompass innovation and technology that helps improve people’s lives. Similarly, with agriculture continually evolving resembling every other forward-thinking industry, today’s SMART Farm utilizes technology to be more sustainable and efficient.
To share personal stories about ways farmers and ranchers are using technology, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) partnered with ZimmComm New Media to bridge the conversation between urban and rural Americans through the SMART Farmer Podcast. From crop and livestock to conventional and organic, spanning all sizes, this podcast features farmers, ranchers and industry leaders. The SMART Farmer Podcast explores what technologies enhance environmental sustainability, the misconceptions associated with GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides and animal welfare, and how agriculture strives to continually improve.
“USFRA research shows technology in agriculture is perceived positively by consumers and food influencers, with about half who associate it to increased yields and improved efficiency,” said Randy Krotz, USFRA Chief Executive Officer. “Our SMART Farm platform is an opportunity to capitalize on the positive support for technology on today’s farms and ranches showing how it benefits the consumer and our planet.”
Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday and officially introduced his new Twitter handle – @SecretarySonny. Welcome to Twitter Secretary Perdue.
After he took the oath of office, Perdue’s first order of business was to address employees at the USDA.
During his address, Perdue explained the four main principles that will guide him while making decisions as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture:
1. Maximize the ability of America’s agriculture and agribusiness sector to create jobs, to produce and sell the foods and fiber that feed and clothe the world, and to reap the earned reward of their labor. All while removing obstacles giving farmers, ranchers, and producers every opportunity to prosper.
2. Prioritize customer service every day for American taxpayers and consumers.
3. Ensure a safe and secure food supply. Food security is a key component of national security, because hunger and peace do not long coexist.
4. Remember that America’s agricultural bounty comes directly from the land. Perdue’s father’s words still ring true: We’re all stewards of the land, owned or rented, and our responsibility is to leave it better than we found it.
Listen to his full address here: Secretary Sonny Perdue addresses USDA
General Mills recently announced a $2 million commitment to the Soil Health Institute, The Nature Conservancy, and the Soil Health Partnership to support the development of tools and resources for farmers, landowners, and supply chain leaders to achieve widespread adoption of soil health practices.
In this podcast, Soil Health Institute president and CEO Wayne Honeycutt talks about the partnership and how it can achieve national scale soil health benefits, improve water quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance pollinator and other wildlife habitat.
Listen to the podcast here: ZimmCast with Wayne Honeycutt, Soil Health Insitutue
Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here. Use this url in iTunes or your favorite news reader program/app.
Among the 14 farmers and ranchers invited to the White House session was American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Not only was President Trump receptive to our concerns, but he pledged action,” Duvall said. “He even looked toward Secretary Perdue and said, ‘Let’s get these problems fixed.’”
Others at the roundtable included Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and farmer Bill Northey, NC Commissioner of Agriculture and farmer Steve Troxler and former California Secretary of Agriculture and farmer A.G. Kawamura.
Listen to Trump’s comments here: President Trump at White House farmers roundtable
While corn planting in Illinois was gaining momentum last week, Tim Laatsch of the Agronomy Division at GROWMARK was talking about the field conditions around the state and how the warmer, drier winter combined with wet conditions this spring is causing winter annuals to thrive in some areas, providing a good habitat for cutworms.
In this interview, Laatsch also talks about some of the other weed and disease pressures they are seeing around Illinois: Interview with Tim Laatsch, GROWMARK
Perdue, an agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and former governor of Georgia, grew up working on his family farm in central Georgia, making him the fourth agriculture secretary who has worked as a farmer. According to his bio from USDA, it was the family farm which shaped Sonny Perdue. “He has lived and breathed the exhilaration of a great crop and the despair and devastation of a drought. He learned by experience what his father told him as a child, “If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.””
Comments of senators supporting Perdue’s confirmation on the floor Monday.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – McConnell/Perdue
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) – Roberts/Perdue
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – Stabenow/Perdue
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) – Tester/Perdue
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) – Isakson/Perdue
This is episode number six of the USFRA SMART Farmer podcast and this one is with Nancy Kavazanjian, who served as the second chairperson of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.
Nancy farms with her husband Charlie Hammer in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin on land that has been in his family for 150 years. She grew up on Long Island, made a career as an agricultural journalist, has served as chairperson of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and currently serves on the board representing the United Soybean Board.
In this podcast, Nancy talks about the smart technology of GPS and GMOs on the farm: SMART Farmer Podcast with Nancy Kavazanjian
Ethanol has a seat on the ground at one of the largest Earth Day events in the country this weekend – Earth Day Texas, which last year hosted over 130,000 attendees, over 700 exhibitors and more than 250 speakers.
Even bigger and better this year, the event includes an alternative fuels educational session on Saturday where Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White will be speaking.
In this edition of The Ethanol Report, White talks about how ethanol has helped to clean up vehicle emissions and come a long way since the first Earth Day in 1970.
Listen to this episode here: Ethanol Report on Earth Day 2017
Click here to subscribe to the Ethanol Report podcast feed and never miss an episode!
The Bayer CARE initiative has been encouraging growers to be good stewards of the land for five years and now Bayer is making that goal more attainable with Fluency Agent Advanced, which was introduced by the company at Commodity Classic.In this interview, Bayer Seed Growth product manager Melissa Chu and Ron Reichert, application technology manager for Bayer Seed Growth, discuss how Fluency Agent Advanced does more than other seed lubricants to further reduce the amount of dust and active ingredients potentially released during planting, thereby reducing the potential exposure to pollinators by up to 88 percent.
Learn more in this interview: Interview with Melissa Chu and Ron Reichert, Bayer