USDA Cuts in Trump Budget

Cindy Zimmerman

Farmers and ranchers are concerned about President Trump’s “Taxpayer First” budget released this week but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended significant cuts to USDA in the name of balancing the budget on a press call with reporters Tuesday.

The budget cuts USDA staff, crop insurance, conservation programs, and food assistance and eliminates funding for some programs including the Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Joining Perdue on the call was Acting Deputy Secretary and Budget Officer Michael Young, who ran USDA for the first four months of this year and was the one who actually worked on the budget before Secretary Perdue was confirmed. He explained the budget cuts and answered all of the reporters’ questions.

Perdue and Young will both testify before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture today at 10 am Eastern time.

Listen to the press conference here. USDA budget presser

audio, USDA

Alltech #ONE17

Cindy Zimmerman

ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference challenges you to seek out that one-in-a-million idea that will revolutionize the way you do business. A record crowd of 4,000 attended this year’s conference held May 21–24 in Lexington, KY.

This virtual newsroom includes links to photos, audio, and video from the conference. All content posted here is available free of charge for digital or print publication or broadcast. Credit can be given to AgNewsWire.

Download photos from the event here:
Alltech ONE17 Photo Album

It’s Time to Disrupt the Disruptors Interview with Aidan Connolly, Alltech
Alltech Celebrates Joy of Disruption Alltech President Pearse Lyons
George Blankenship Receives Alltech Medal of Excellence George Blankenship at Alltech ONE17

Growing Up Lyons
Interview with Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech
Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech 2017 presentation

Alltech Young Scientists Compete at #ONE17
Interview with Joshua Gukowsky, University of Massachusetts
Interview with Jonas de Souza, Michigan State University

Read More

Alltech, Animal Agriculture, audio

SMART Farmer Scott VanderWal

Lizzy Schultz

In this episode of the SMART Farmer podcast we meet Scott VanderWal, a third-generation corn and soybean farmer and cattle feeder from Volga, South Dakota.

Scott serves as vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, and is a board member of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

In this podcast, Scott talks about how farming smarter helps him wear many hats: SMART Farmer Podcast with Scott VanderWal, South Dakota

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Learn more about USFRA and SMART Farm

Ag Group, audio, Podcasting, SMART Farmer, USFRA

AEM Holds Rural Broadband Access Panel

jamie johansen

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) hosted Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and representatives from equipment manufacturers John Deere and HammerHead Trenchless for a panel discussion on Capitol Hill on May 18th focused on the expansion of rural broadband access as part of lawmakers’ work this year on infrastructure.

The event was in conjunction with Infrastructure Week 2017 and was organized as part of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative. The thought leadership initiative is “focused on crafting a vision for a long-term, national plan for U.S. infrastructure and how we [AEM] will move people, freight and energy in the future.”

Panelists included Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey; Nick Tindall, AEM Senior Director, Government & Industry Relations; Mark Lewellen, Spectrum Advocacy Manager, John Deere; and Hammerhead Trenchless president Kevin Smith. The panel was moderated by Doug Brake, Policy Analyst, ITIF.

Audio is available for download from this event:
Bill Northey comments 2:42
Mark Lewellen comments 5:05
Nick Tindall comments 1:32
Kevin Smith comments 1:32
Panel answers questions 37:41

Please attribute and cite any audio usage to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and that it was from a panel discussion on Capitol Hill about the future of rural broadband infrastructure.

AEM, Ag Group, AgWired AgNewsWire, audio, Equipment, Infrastructure, Internet, John Deere

Soil Health Institute Announces Action Plan

Cindy Zimmerman

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) today unveiled the “Enriching Soil, Enhancing Life” Soil Health Action Plan during a National Press Club event.

Former USDA-NRCS chief Bruce Knight moderated the unveiling of the plan which was developed from four years of stakeholder input, beginning with the Soil Renaissance in 2013. Agricultural industry thought leaders, farmers, ranchers, scientists, government agency leaders, and non-governmental organizations provided input into the plan, which will be used to drive advancements in soil health.

Among those participating in the unveiling were SHI president and CEO Wayne Honeycutt and National Corn Growers Association board member Keith Alverson of South Dakota.

Read the soil health action plan and download Honeycutt and Alverson comments here: SHI CEO Wayne Honeycutt and NCGA farmer Keith Alverson on Soil Health Plan

audio, Conservation, soil

Interview with Lynn Henderson on NAMA

Lizzy Schultz

The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) is celebrating 60 years as a professional organization dedicated to the business of agricultural marketing. Lynn Henderson with AgriMarketing Magazine has been involved with NAMA for the last 41 of those 60 years so we sat down with him at the recent annual conference to hear some of the history of the organization and how it has grown.

AgriMarketing is the official publication of NAMA and the magazine has been publishing the Best of NAMA winners since not long after it was started in 1962. In this ZimmCast, Lynn shares how NAMA helped him early in his career and he encourages young people to get involved. ZimmCast with Lynn Henderson, AgriMarketing Magazine

2017 Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here. Use this url in iTunes or your favorite news reader program/app.

Ag Group, audio, NAMA, ZimmCast

Secretary Perdue Testifies at First Hearing

cindy zimmerman

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue testified at his first hearing as the new head of USDA. The House Agriculture Committee welcomed Perdue to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify on the “State of the Rural Economy.”

The new secretary submitted seven pages of written testimony which focused on his proposed “realignment” of USDA. “My goal is to make it the most effective, most efficient, the best managed, the best value agency in the United States government,” said Perdue.

Download Secretary Perdue’s opening statement here: Perdue at House Ag Committee hearing

AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Animal, audio, government, USDA

Soil Health Action Plan Unveiling to be Webcast

Cindy Zimmerman

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) will unveil the Soil Health Action Plan at 9 a.m., May 18, at the First Amendment Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045. The event will also be webcast live. To join the webcast, visit

The nationwide plan evolved after four years of stakeholder input, beginning with the Soil Renaissance in 2013. Agricultural industry thought leaders, farmers, ranchers, scientists, government agency leaders, and non-governmental organizations provided input into the plan, which will be used to drive advancements in soil health.

Conservation, soil

Nebraska Press Conference on Mexico Grain Trade

cindy zimmerman

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts asked grain industry officials from Mexico and the United States join him Tuesday for a press conference to highlight the importance of Mexico to U.S. agriculture and how the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has benefited both countries.

Representatives from the Nebraska Corn Board, the U.S. Grains Council, and the National Corn Growers Association joined the press conference as well as a team of Mexican grain and industry officials in Nebraska for a town hall and industry meetings.

Listen to the press conference here: Nebraska presser on trade with Mexico

agribusiness, AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Energy, audio, Corn, Grains, NCGA, trade, USGC

DMI Launches Undeniably Dairy Campaign

Lizzy Schultz

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, in partnership with Dairy Management Inc, held a press conference this afternoon to detail its launching of Undeniably Dairy, the first industrywide campaign of its kind to grow consumer confidence in dairy products.

The call featured dialogue from Amber Horn-Leiterman, Wisconsin dairy farmer and Chair, National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, Barb O’Brien, President, Dairy Management Inc. and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and Beth Engelmann, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Dairy Management Inc.

In addition to showcasing the undeniable taste and enjoyment that comes from dairy – like a warm slice of pizza or a yogurt parfait on a summer day – the campaign will also spotlight the undeniably positive role the dairy community plays in America today.

Catch the full press conference here:
Undeniably Dairy Media Conference

Ag Group, audio, Dairy