Peanut and Cotton Growers Provide Farm Bill Input

Lizzy Schultz

Peanut and cotton growers provided their input into commodity programs in the next farm bill during a hearing this week before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

Georgia farmer Tim McMillan testified on behalf of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation in support of maintaining the peanut provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program in the next farm bill.

Listen to McMillan’s testimony here: Tim McMillan, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation

National Cotton Council (NCC) Chairman Ronnie Lee told the panel that “market volatility and mounting economic pressures underscore the critical importance of an improved safety net for cotton farmers.” He said cotton must be brought back into the farm law’s Title I commodity policy as it “is the only program crop that does not have any long-term price or revenue protection policy in the farm bill.”

Listen to Lee’s testimony here: Ronnie Lee, National Cotton Council

audio, Cotton, Farm Bill, Peanuts

Canadian Trade Policy Delivers Blow to Wisconsin Dairies

Lizzy Schultz

Over 70 Wisconsin dairy operations are already feeling the blow from a protectionist Canadian trade policy that has slammed the door on American dairy exports, violated existing trade commitments, and left farmers across the state scrambling to find milk buyers.

Grassland Dairy Products Inc. informed over 70 operations this week that their contracts with the company will end May 1st, leaving affected farmers without buyers and at risk of losing their operations. The company cited a substantial loss of ultra-filtered milk exports following new Canadian dairy pricing regulations as the reason behind the broken contracts.

Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel talks about the impact of the action in this interview: Interview with WI Secretary of Ag Ben Brancel

Ag Group, Animal Agriculture, audio, Dairy, exports, trade

USFRA Panel Looks At The Future of Protein

Lizzy Schultz

Future Food-Tech took place in San Francisco last week and brought together over 300 food business technology leaders, investors and food-tech innovators. Brad Greenway, Chairman, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) sat on a panel titled, “Creating Consumer Demand for Healthier and More Sustainable Ingredients.” As the sole panelist who represented the animal agriculture community, Brad was able to share his story and paint a picture of how protein is raised across the country.

Other panelists included:
– Moderator: Arif Fazal, Founder and Managing Director, Blueberry Ventures
– Minh Tsai, Founder, Hodo Soy Beanery
– Josh Balk, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection, The Humane Society of the U.S. and Founder, Hampton Creek
– Jonathan Wolfson, Co-Founder,TerraVia

Listen to Jamie’s complete chat with Brad to learn more about panel conversations around the future of protein: Interview with Brad Greenway, Chairman, USFRA

Ag Group, Animal Agriculture, audio, technology, USFRA

Senate Urged to Vote on USDA Secretary

Lizzy Schultz

As the agriculture industry continues to operate without leadership at the USDA, industry groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), have been urging the Senate to vote this weekand confirm Sonny Perdue as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture before recessing for spring break.

Interview with Scott VanderWal, AFBF

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) have also urged Congress to move Perdue’s confirmation along by sending a letter to Senate leaders this week encouraging swift confirmation of Perdue. “Beyond the challenges that await the Secretary upon confirmation, we have been presented a budget blueprint for discretionary spending that had no input from the nation’s Secretary of Agriculture,” they wrote.

Rep. Austin Scott urges confirmation vote for Perdue
AFBF, audio, government, USDA

Experts to Share Ideas at Water for Food Conference

Lizzy Schultz

The 2017 Water for Food Global Conference will welcome a record 100 speakers and global experts to share ideas and help find solutions to the world’s pressing water and food security needs.

The flagship event of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, held in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center, will be April 10-12 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. More information, including the speaker list, agenda and registration details, are available on the conference website:

Researchers, practitioners, policymakers, farmers, faculty, students, thought leaders and industry experts will explore “Water for Food Security: From Local Lessons to Global Impacts,” a theme inspired by the notion that global breakthroughs come from local action.Participants can expect three full days of learning and networking.

“We are energized to bring together such a dynamic and diverse group of speakers and experts to the University of Nebraska,” said Peter McCornick, executive director. “This year’s conference will push us further toward finding real-world solutions – locally and globally – to the complex challenge of ensuring water and food security.”

Interview with Peter McCornick, Water For Food Institute

Download pdf of full release.
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agribusiness, audio, Conservation, international, Water

SMART Farmer Lauren Schwab

Lizzy Schultz

This edition of the SMART Farmer podcast comes from National Ag Day in Washington D.C. last week where USFRA Faces of Farming and Ranching representative Lauren Schwab talked about SMART Farming.

Lauren is known as FarmGirlWCurls on Twitter and Facebook, where she uses her platform to educate non-farmers about the business. In this program, she talks about how technology helps keep her piglets safe and warm, and how her cell phone is one of the most important tools on the farm.

Listen to the podcast here: SMART Farmer Podcast with Lauren Schwab

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

audio, SMART Farmer

Ethanol Report From 2017 Crappie Masters Tournament

Lizzy Schultz

ethanol-report-adIn this report, Chuck spoke with some of the teams from the Crappie Masters tournament happening this weekend in Grenada, MS. The Renewable Fuels Association is a title sponsor of the Crappie Master American Tournament Trail which puts them on par with other sponsors like Bass Pro Shops.

In the report you’ll hear from the owner of Crappie Masters, Mike Vallentine; the voice of Crappie Masters, Brian Sowers and Terry Richard & Casey Rayner, RFA sponsored fishing team. They discuss the issue of using E10 in boat motors and how this sponsorship is bringing the message to a large national audience of people who enjoy taking their boat out on the water.

Listen to this episode here: Ethanol Report on Crappie Masters Sponsorship

Click here to subscribe to the Ethanol Report podcast feed and never miss an episode!

audio, Ethanol, Ethanol Report

2017 Crappie Masters Grenada Tournament

Lizzy Schultz

Welcome to the virtual newsroom for the 2017 Crappie Masters tournament trail sponsored by The Renewable Fuels Association, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops. It’s the Grenada Lake National Qualifier Mississippi State Championship.

During the event, Chuck talked with several teams about their use and experience with E10 gas in their boat engines.

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.

2017 Crappie Masters Grenada Tournament

Crappie Fishing and Ethanol
ZimmCast with Brian Sowers, Crappie Masters

Crappie Masters is Big Target for Ethanol Message
Interview with Crappie Masters Owner Mike Vallentine

Interview with Brian Sowers, Crappie Masters TV Interview with Terry Richard, RFA Fishing Team member Interview with Billy Don Surface & Kevin Jones, Missouri Corn Fishing Team members Interview with Casey Rayner, RFA fishing team member

Ag Group, American Ethanol, audio, Ethanol, RFA

Agriculture Secretary Nominee Hearing

Lizzy Schultz

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a confirmation hearing March 23 for former Georgia Governor Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III who has been nominated by President Trump to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.

During the hearing, Perdue outlined his four overall goals as agriculture secretary – to maximize opportunity of agriculture to create jobs, prioritize customer service every day, ensure a safe food supply, and protect the resources of the land.

The nominee answered questions on a number of issues, including government regulations, trade, avian flu, and budget.

Listen to Perdue’s opening statement here: Sonny Perdue at confirmation hearing

audio, government, politics, USDA

ProAg Announces Agreement to Acquire International Ag

Lizzy Schultz

Producers Ag Insurance Group, Inc. (ProAg), a member of the Tokio Marine HCC (TMHCC) group of companies, today announced a purchase agreement had been signed to acquire crop managing general agent (MGA) International Ag Insurance Solutions, LLC (International Ag). The transaction, which is subject to a number of closing conditions including final approvals by certain International Ag members and regulatory authorities, is expected to close by April 3, 2017.

Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, International Ag manages multi-peril crop, crop hail and named peril crop insurance. In 2016, the company managed gross premiums of $67.4 million, as reported by National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS).

“ProAg believes International Ag provides a complementary platform to add business from a strong group of independent agents, while improving our profitability and enhancing our diversified portfolio. This acquisition shows TMHCC’s continued commitment to the U.S. crop insurance space. We are pleased to welcome International Ag’s management team, employees and independent agents to ProAg,” said Michael Connealy, ProAg’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“International Ag is excited about the opportunity to join the financially strong and geographically diverse agricultural risk management program of ProAg. Under the guidance and support of ProAg, we will be able to expand our product offerings and elevate the superior service our customers have come to expect,” said Rob Boysen, International Ag’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Together with International Ag, we will work through the details to provide a seamless transition for policyholders, agents and employees over the coming months,” said Kendall Jones, ProAg’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Ag Group, crop insurance