Friday, June 17, 2022

Friday June 17 Ag News - Prepare livestock for extended heat event

 Strategic Deployment of Heat Abatement Strategies for Feedlot Cattle
Alfredo DiCostanzo, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Educator, Cuming County

The following is a list of strategies to reduce the impact of heat stress on cattle in the feedlot with suggestions for sequential deployment.  Strategies listed under preparation are intended to be deployed early within 10 to 14 days of the initial heat event forecast.  Strategies listed under remediation are intended to be deployed as the heat event proceeds.

10-day weather or Mesonet forecasts are fairly accurate. Watch weather forecasts, start acting on preparation steps and be prepared to remediate the problem.

How so?
    Consider marketing finished or nearly finished cattle
    If unable to market, move finished cattle to pens deemed to be less prone to heat stress (pens with shade, greater wind exposure, greater water access, or where bedding may be delivered easily)
    Avoid receiving cattle during heat event
    Resist temptation to increase feed deliveries or simply reduce feed deliveries
    Increase forage in the diet:  Use storm diets or diets with more roughage
    Avoid diets containing fat (adding fat to the diet leads to greater metabolic heat load)
    Assign heat remediation tasks to one lead individual in team.  Empower this individual to delegate tasks to other individuals, as appropriate.
    Make plans to do any cattle processing before heat event
    Plan to conduct pen riding and sick cattle pulling in the early morning hours
    Remove any movable barriers to air flow
    If possible, set up shades, but only if 12 ft high and at least 16 square feet of space per head can be shaded
    Add and supply water stock tanks on fence lines away from existing water tanks
    If possible, set up sprinklers and turn them on ahead of heat event
    Plan to have additional water (accessing through local fire department or crop producers) and water wagons on hand

Be prepared to focus remediation efforts on high-priority pens.  What would be considered high priority pens?

Cattle displaying one or more of these characteristics:
    Finished or near finished cattle
    Black cattle that haven't shed winter coats
    High intake cattle
    Cattle (pen mates) with previous history of digestive or respiratory illness
    Pens with poor wind movement (north slopes, wind breaks, in valleys)
    Pens with no shade
    Pens with restricted water access or poor water flow
    Pens with no sprinklers

Remediation - (In addition to preparation steps outlined above) with a focus on high-priority pens
    Conduct pen riding and cattle pulling in the early morning hours
    Retain sick or compromised cattle in bedded or shaded hospital pens
    If cattle processing, loading or unloading must occur, defer to cooler hours of the day
    Reduce morning feed delivery
    Resist increasing feed deliveries or lower feed deliveries
    Consider adding an extra 10 percentage units of roughage to finishing diet or continue feeding storm ration delivery (remove diets containing fat)
    Dam a segment of feed bunk and deliver water within this segment
    If practical, blow ground stalks or straw or roll out straw or stalk bales on pen surface to insulate heat reflection from pen surface (about 10 to 20 square feet per head)

In-depth look at mitigation strategies:
NebGuide: Feedlot Heat Stress Information and Management Guide (G2266)
Webinar: Heat Stress Mitigation in Feedlot Cattle

 Funding Available for Farmers and Ranchers to Develop Conservation Planning Activities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funding available for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers to develop Conservation Planning Activities. These plans are developed by NRCS certified Technical Service Providers (TSP) or other third-party service providers to help identify and find solutions for specific natural resource concerns on a farm or ranch operation.

Technical service providers for NRCS can carry out planning, design, implementation, and monitoring tasks for NRCS conservation program purposes. Applications for this year’s funding are currently being accepted at local NRCS offices through July 6.

Previously known as Conservation Activity Plans (CAP’s), beginning in 2022 NRCS has reorganized and renamed CAPs into three new categories - Conservation Planning Activities (CPAs), Design and Implementation Activities (DIAs), and Conservation Evaluation and Monitoring Activities (CEMAs). NRCS broke these activities out to clarify which phase of the NRCS conservation planning process the Technical Service Provider (TSP)/Provider will be supporting.

According to Conor Ward, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program manager with NRCS, “With a certified conservation planning activity, producers can not only have assistance in identifying resource concerns, but they can then apply for financial assistance to implement conservation practices needed to address these concerns in subsequent application periods.”

Eligible producers may apply at their local NRCS office at any time, but to be considered for this year’s funding, applications need to be submitted by July 6. If an application is approved for funding, payments are made directly to program participants after development and certification of a conservation planning activity.

For more information, contact your local NRCS field office.

Smith: TRIPS Waiver Sets Dangerous Precedent, Puts Future Innovation At Risk

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Lead Republican of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, released the following statement after the World Trade Organization’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12).

“To say I am disappointed the Biden administration paved the way for the TRIPS waiver to be agreed to during this week’s MC12 is an understatement. Handing over hard-won American intellectual property will do little to address the supply chain and distribution challenges with getting the world vaccinated.

"Instead of looking ahead, this waiver leaves the door open for broader waivers in the future – setting a dangerous precedent that could have a chilling effect on future innovative vaccines and therapies. I will continue to hold USTR and the Biden administration accountable for this incredibly misguided step.”

IOWA Farmers Encouraged to Vote in Iowa Corn Checkoff Director Elections on July 12

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board® (ICPB) will hold elections in crop reporting districts 2, 5, 7 and 9. Iowa corn farmers elect their peers to serve on the Board of Directors of ICPB to oversee the investment of funds generated by the Iowa corn checkoff program. The board’s primary priorities and responsibilities include domestic and foreign market development, research of new and value-added corn uses and education on corn and the farmers who grow it.

Farmers in crop reporting districts 2, 5, 7 and 9 can vote during business hours at their local county ISU Extension office for representation on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board for a 3-year term, with the exception of District 9 a 2-year term. Anyone who has produced and marketed 250 bushels of corn or more in Iowa in the previous marketing year is eligible to vote in the election.  

July 12, 2022, is the day to vote in person at your local ISU Extension office, or request an absentee ballot. Farmers unable to visit the extension office on July 12 may vote by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are available by request until June 20 by contacting the Iowa Corn office at 515-225-9242 or by filling out this form. Absentee ballots must be postmarked or returned to the Iowa Corn office no later than July 12.

Current candidates are as follows:  

USDA Crop Reporting District 2 (north-central)
    Jerry Maier, Wright County 
    Joe Roberts, Wright County 

USDA Crop Reporting District 5 (central)
    Nick Helland, Story County 
    Derek Kemper, Tama County   

USDA Crop Reporting District 7 (southwest)
    Ralph Lents, Adair County  
    Jeff Thomsen, Cass County 

USDA Crop Reporting District 9 (southeast)
    Paul Gieselman, Louisa County  
    Heath Greiner, Davis County 

Iowa Corn Growers Association: Crop Reporting Districts 1, 4, 6 AND 8

Those elected as ICGA Directors will continue to bring grassroots policy issues forward and be the collective voice for the nearly 7,500 corn farmer-members, lobbying on agricultural issues at the state and federal level. Below are the farmer leaders running for the 2022-2023 board.

District 1 (northwest)

John Schott has farmed in Pocahontas County for 48 years raising corn and soybeans. He has worked as a seed corn dealer for 32 years and is a cooperator with the Iowa Crop Improvement Corn Testing. Through one capacity or another, Schott has been involved with the Iowa Corn Growers Association for over 20 years and looks forward to taking the next step.

Mike Ver Steeg has farmed in Lyon County for 28 years. He produces corn and soybeans and raises hogs. On his farm they implement strip-till, no-till and cover crops. They also have a feedmill where they mix all their own feed for pigs and he is an owner in Wholestone Farms, a pork harvesting facility, and Greenstone, a farmer owned company to capture value in the carbon market.

District 4 (west central)

Barb Kastner has been farming in Guthrie County for 46 years, raising corn and soybeans. Growing up farming and working with agriculture for her whole live, Kastner sees herself as an advocate for the industry and believes it would be an honor to represent corn farmers.

Mike Thomas has farmed for 38 years in Guthrie County. On their farm they are currently produce both non-GMO and organic crops including white corn, beans, hay, barley, wheat and organic corn, beans and barley. They also raise cattle and hogs. On their farm they practice conservation through cover crops, waterway management and grow seed beans.

District 6 (east central)
Logan Lyon is a farmer from Muscatine County where he grows corn and soybeans. Lyon and his wife, Emily, have also been developing their cow calf herd since 2015.  His goal is to continue to diversify his family farming operation to best capture changes in the market.

Erinn Spevacek has been farming in Johnson County for 10 years producing corn and soybeans, as well as finishing cattle and running a cow-calf operation. On their operation they actively implement no-till and cover crop practices, which they use for grazing cattle.

District 8 (south central)
Brian Fuller has farmed in Clarke County for 40 years raising corn, soybeans, hay and 180 head of cow/calf pairs.  He has been involved in farming and agriculture his entire life on his family’s farm with his grandfather, parents and now his own family.

Steve Kuiper has been farming for over 30 years growing corn and soybeans on his family’s farm in Marion County. He worked in manufacturing at Vermeer for 30 years before farming full-time.

To read each candidates full biography for both ICPB and ICGA, click here Results of the election are announced publicly July 15.

Iowa Triumphs 2022 Burger Battle

Where is the home of the best burger? We asked this question a couple of weeks ago in search of an answer. With the help of the Iowa Beef and New York Beef Councils, that exact question has finally been answered. Each state sent forth its best burger to compete in a burger battle competition.

On June 6th, this intense bragging rights competition began. Burger lovers voted for their favorite burger, either The Flying Elbow in Iowa or Ale n’ Angus Pub in New York.

The voting period closed on June 13th at 11:59 PM and the results were tallied. With a total of 2,953 votes, the winner of this burger battle is the state in the heart of the midwest, Iowa!

The “Tombstone” smashburger from The Flying Elbow swept the polls and took home the title of the Burger Battle Champion. New York received 1,120 votes for their burger. This is the second year Iowa’s Best Burger winner has won this friendly competition.

We highly encourage you to head over to The Flying Elbow in Marshalltown, Iowa, and order the “Tombstone” smashburger. The burger itself features a blend of chuck, brisket, and short rib, which is fresh, never frozen, and sourced from Midwest cattle. It also contains Wagyu beef, raised by a Marshalltown producer. It is topped with Manchego cheese, guacamole, bacon, sour cream, shredded lettuce, tomato, and death valley hot sauce on the side. It, however, can be dressed in multiple different ways. Making this combination unlike any other.

They can also be found serving their award-winning burger at the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters at the Iowa State Fair on Friday, August 12th starting at 10 AM, while supplies last. Learn more about the 2022 Iowa’s Best Burger winner at

Red Meat Exports Deliver Value Back to Corn and Soybean Producers, Says Study

Record-level red meat exports of $18.7 billion in 2021 had a major impact on the corn and soybean industries, according to an independent study by the Juday Group. The study quantified the returns that red meat exports brought to corn and soybean producers in 2021 nationally, and at state levels for leading corn-producing and soybean-producing states.

“The study validates the red meat industry’s collaborative approach to export market development,” says U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Chair-elect Dean Meyer, who produces corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs near Rock Rapids, Iowa. “Beef and pork exports drive value directly back to my farm and this study helps confirm the return on this investment for all corn and soybean producers.”

Corn and soybean growers support the international promotion of U.S. pork, beef and lamb by investing a portion of their checkoff dollars in market development efforts conducted by USMEF.

Key findings from the Juday Group study, which utilized 2021 export data, include:
    Nationally, beef and pork exports accounted for 537 million bushels of corn usage, equating to $2.94 billion (at an average corn price of $5.48/bushel).
    Pork exports accounted for 99.3 million bushels of soybean usage nationwide (the equivalent of 2.36 million metric tons of soybean meal), which equated to $1.3 billion (at an average soybean price of $13.13/bushel).
    Beef and pork exports accounted for 3.4 million tons of DDGS usage, equating to $716 million (at an average price of $209.92/ton).

“The industry-wide collaboration to promote value-added U.S. red meat in international markets works to the benefit of the entire red meat industry,” says Mark Legan, a hog farmer from Coatesville, Ind., who serves on the USMEF Executive Committee. “Red meat export growth results in greater demand for feed inputs and added value at every step of the supply chain. This study demonstrates the significance of global trade to the bottom line of American farmers and ranchers.”

Handouts detailing the impact of red meat exports at the national level and on the leading corn-producing and soybean-producing states are available from the USMEF website.


The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is pleased to announce the promotion of Maria C. Zieba to vice president of international affairs. She will oversee international trade advocacy efforts on behalf of America’s 60,000 pork producers.
“NPPC recently announced the culmination of a strategic planning and repositioning effort that will drive momentum in shaping the future for the next generation of pork producers and their businesses,” said Bryan Humphreys, NPPC’s chief executive officer. “It’s never been more important to plan for our future, and we are pleased to have someone with Maria’s experience and talent to lead NPPC’s efforts to increase trade for U.S. pork products.”
Maria joined NPPC in January 2015 and has played a prominent role in supporting the organization’s efforts to expand market access of U.S. pork products. These include successfully maintaining zero duties for U.S. pork exports to Canada and Mexico as part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, lowering Most Favored Nation tariffs on imported pork from the Philippines and Vietnam, and expanding market access of fresh, frozen, and processed pork into Argentina.
“Seeing the benefits from the expansion of U.S. pork products to countries worldwide and how they support thousands of American farmers, their families, and communities is very rewarding,” said Zieba. “This new opportunity at NPPC will allow me to continue my passion for trade and advocate for greater access to high-quality, affordable pork products for consumers around the globe.”
Before joining NPPC, Zieba was a trade policy manager for the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, where she worked on various trade issues affecting the dairy industry. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service, managing capacity-building projects to increase U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets.
Maria holds a master's degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Riverside with a double major in political science-international affairs and Spanish. Maria serves on the boards of the Washington International Trade Association, Women in International Trade, and Farmers for Free Trade.

Proposed SEC Rule Requirements Nearly Impossible for Family Farms

The American Farm Bureau Federation warned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today about the consequences to rural America of the SEC’s proposed rule, “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.” The proposal would require public companies to report on Scope 3 emissions, which are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by a publicly traded company but contribute to its value chain. While farmers and ranchers would not be required to report directly to the SEC, this regulation would impose additional burdens as they provide almost every raw product that goes into the food supply chain.

The comments were filed on behalf of AFBF and 10 other agriculture organizations. The organizations state, “Our organizations and our members are committed to transparency in climate-related matters to inform our stakeholders in a manner consistent with existing practices in the agriculture industry. However, without changes and clarifications, the Proposed Rules would be wildly burdensome and expensive if not altogether impossible for many small and mid-sized farmers to comply with.”

AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “Farmers and ranchers are committed to feeding America’s families while protecting the resources they’ve been entrusted with. We’re doing this through voluntary, market-driven incentives, but this proposed rule threatens that progress.

“Family farms don’t have teams of compliance officers and attorneys to respond to Wall Street. Higher costs could keep small farms from doing business with publicly traded companies, which could lead to more consolidation and fewer farmers at a time when the world is increasingly calling on rural America to meet the needs of hungry families.”

Recommendations to the SEC include:
    Removing the “value-chain” concept from the proposed rules;
    Removing or substantially revising the Scope 3 emissions disclosure requirement to include an explicit exemption for the agricultural industry;
    Removing the requirement that registrants provide disclosures pertaining to their climate-related targets and goals;
    Revising the proposed rules so that disclosures of GHG emissions operate in unison with existing federal emissions reporting programs;
    Ensuring the final rules do not include location data disclosures for GHG emissions, which may inadvertently disclose the private information of family farms.

Cattle Industry Fights Controversial SEC Climate Rule

Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) filed comments on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) controversial proposed greenhouse gas disclosure rule. The rule would require publicly traded companies to disclose their direct (scope 1), energy/electricity consumption (scope 2), and supply chain emissions (scope 3), creating a burden on cattle producers who supply beef to publicly traded processors, restaurants, and retailers.
“With cattle producers facing record inflation, rising input costs and labor shortages, another bureaucratic rule from Washington is a burden we cannot afford,” said NCBA President Don Schiefelbein, a cattle producer from Kimball, Minnesota. “Policymakers should be focused on lowering costs and solving the real problems facing farmers and ranchers, not creating more complex rules that require a team of lawyers to understand.”
While the proposed rule is aimed at public companies, mandating the disclosure of scope 3 emissions would place a burden on cattle producers who supply beef to public entities. Additionally, the federal government has acknowledged that accurately calculating emissions on the farm or ranch level is impossible, while industry-wide metrics are already collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at a level that should satisfy federal regulators.
“Cattle farmers and ranchers are America’s original conservationists. Thanks to decades of innovation and continuous improvement, cattle account for just 2% of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions,” said NCBA Environmental Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart. “Cattle producers have a proven track record of sustainable practices and should not be penalized with overreaching rules from an agency with no expertise in agriculture.”
In addition to submitting technical comments, individual cattle producers submitted over 6,700 letters to the commissioners of the SEC and members of Congress to inform them of the widespread unintended sequences this rule would have on the cattle and beef industry.
NCBA’s technical comments were filed with a coalition of agricultural organizations including the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Cotton Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Potato Council, American Soybean Association, Agricultural Retailers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. Numerous NCBA state and breed affiliates submitted comments as well.

 The SEC is a Wall Street regulator, not an environmental or agricultural agency. This proposed rule goes far outside the SEC’s primary jurisdiction and places an unreasonable burden on private small businesses, farms, and ranches. NCBA has urged the SEC to limit the proposed rule to publicly traded companies—the agency’s actual jurisdiction.
For agriculture specifically, this rule would force private entities to release confidential information. Court decisions like American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA have solidified the right to producer data privacy. Industry-wide emissions data is already collected through the annual EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory and USDA Life Cycle Assessments, which should satisfy any requirement for supply chain emissions data.

Pork Industry Asks The SEC To Reconsider Climate Disclosure Rules For Farmers

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) filed comments today to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its controversial reporting requirements proposal on climate-related disclosures for investors.
In its comments, NPPC and other agricultural groups requested that the SEC reconsider its application of burdensome and unnecessary climate disclosure requirements under Scope 3 of the proposed rules. As currently drafted, these requirements would overly burden American farmers, forcing them to take on costly and expensive reporting that will set back farm environmental performance, and would be in violation of federal law. These requirements will ultimately be neither accurate nor serve any useful purpose.  
“The U.S. pork industry represents a mere one-third of 1% of U.S. climate emissions. Despite this, American pig farmers have managed to shrink their GHG footprint by over 21% over the last three decades while at the same time, the industry has increased its production of affordable pork for consumers 77%,” said Michael Formica, assistant vice president and general counsel, NPPC. “This demonstrates not only the commitment of farmers to address long-term sustainability challenges we all face, but also that voluntary, market-based incentives have helped make real progress on climate change.”
NPPC submitted comments in conjunction with ten other agricultural organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and various crop and livestock organizations. Among the seven recommendations made, NPPC asked the SEC to consider removing the “value chain” concept, removing or substantially revising the Scope 3 emissions disclosure requirement and revising the proposed rule to ensure alignment of GHG emissions disclosures with existing federal emissions reporting programs and federal law protecting livestock farmers from costly, inaccurate and unduly burdensome GHG emissions reporting. Read the full comments here.
“American pig farmers are committed to transparency in climate-related matters and believe in doing this in a manner consistent with existing practices,” Formica said. “Costs associated with the proposed rule would be significant, especially for small to mid-sized farms and would lead to industry consolidation and further impact not just rural communities where those farms are located but the ability of every American to enjoy bacon with breakfast.”

Given Dairy’s Progress, NMPF Voices Concern with Proposed SEC Climate Rule

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rule mandating extensive climate disclosures from publicly traded companies could undermine the dairy industry’s progress toward its sustainability goals and create far-reaching technical and financial challenges for American dairy farmers and their cooperatives, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said in comments submitted today.

“Dairy farmers are on the frontlines confronting the many challenges associated with climate change and remain committed to making progress to reduce the industry’s environmental impact,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “The SEC rule, as written, could hamper our ability to make progress through the industry’s robust, voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment program, and jeopardize our goal of reaching GHG neutrality by 2050.”

U.S. dairy farmers have been leading environmental stewards for decades, tending their animals, land and water with great care. Thanks to improvements in productivity, new technologies and evolving best management practices, the environmental impact of producing a gallon of milk requires less water, less land and has a smaller carbon footprint than ever before. Still, the industry remains committed to its continued progress, devoting resources to programs, research and services that advance its 2050 goals to achieve industrywide neutral or better greenhouse gas emissions, optimize water usage and improve water quality.

To track progress and reach these important environmental goals, the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program in 2017 launched the Environmental Stewardship (ES) platform. The program provides a comprehensive estimate of GHG emissions and energy use on dairy farms with a suite of tools and resources for farmers to measure and improve their environmental footprint. FARM ES is the dairy community’s platform for a consistent, unified approach to GHG measurement that is free and accessible to all dairy farmers. Currently, over 80 percent of U.S. milk is handled by cooperatives and processors participating in FARM ES.

SEC’s proposed rule, “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate Related Disclosures for Investors”, would require public companies to disclose GHG emissions, including emissions from upstream and downstream activities in its value chain, known as Scope 3. NMPF cautioned SEC that the inclusion of Scope 3 emissions disclosure within the rule is premature, and risks undermining the extensive efforts the dairy industry has made toward developing trust and buy-in for its voluntary GHG assessment program.

NMPF also emphasized the significant financial burden the proposed rule would have on dairy farmers and their cooperatives related to the collection and aggregation of on-farm GHG data.

Sheep Electronic ID Webinar Planned for June 23

Sheep producers should make plans now to attend the first of two American Sheep Industry Association-sponsored webinars on electronic identification on Thursday, June 23 at 8 p.m. eastern time. The second webinar in the series – which is made possible with funding support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – is scheduled for July 12.
In this webinar, ASI Animal Health Committee Co-Chairs Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. Cindy Wolf, will host presentations by Dan Persons and Brandon Manning to provide an overview of the electronic identification technology that is available today and how it is adding benefit to the sheep industry. Persons will offer a presentation entitled RFID On-Farm and in Animal Disease Traceability, while Manning will present on Utilizing Low Frequency ID in Flock Management and Official ID.
The webinar will wrap up with a question-and-answer session and information on what’s to come in the second electronic ID webinar on July 12.

Sheep Center Now Accepting Grant Proposals

The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center’s Board of Directors recently announced that it is accepting grant proposals from July 1 through Sept. 15. The grants must be designed to improve the American sheep industry.
The sheep center has budgeted about $300,000 to support projects consistent with the grant program. The average grant amount in the last four years has been about $29,000. Financial assistance provided by the sheep center must accomplish one or more of the following objectives:

    Strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, resource development and the development of innovative approaches to solve long-term problems.

    Provide leadership training and education to industry stakeholders.

    Enhance sheep and sheep products in the United States through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep and sheep products.

    Promote marketing of sheep and sheep products through an organized method that can measure tangible results.

    Enhance the sheep industry by coordinating information exchange and by seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the industry community.

The sheep center will review each proposal, recommend funding and submit final recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service for approval.
For more information about applying for a grant, contact NSIIC Program Manager Steve Lee at 207-236-6567 or, or send mail to National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, 1578 Spring Water Way, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129. Additional information about the sheep center is available on the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center website at

Students Extend Learning into Summer Internships with Certified Angus Beef

For some students, learning doesn’t stop when they leave the classroom.

The up-and-coming leaders in the beef business get hands-on experience, networking with professionals and putting their classroom knowledge to work. Four students join the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) team this summer eager to learn, grow and contribute.

Joining the video production team as the studio intern is Claudia Adcock. She grew up part of a large family in Orrville, Ohio, and is majoring in digital media production at Ashland University.

"I enjoy being able to use my talents and love for photography and videography to bring joy to others," she says. "I’m excited to jump into this company and continue to grow my skills."

Putting her enthusiasm to work for the Digital Marketing team is Kindle Catching. A native of Howe, Texas, Catching comes from a cattle production background and working as a part of her family’s auction business. The senior at Texas Tech University is an animal science major with an interest in agricultural communications.

"Certified Angus Beef is in tune with all the things I am passionate about," says Catching, digital marketing intern. "They have a passion for service, people and giving back – but along the same lines, it’s beef with a mission."

She says the brand’s mission and values feel just like home.

That’s also what drew this year’s public relations intern to the brand.

"Certified Angus Beef is one of the most recognized brands," Daniela Medina says. "They are representing ranching families across the United States and I’m looking forward to working alongside these people."

Medina grew up in Pilot Point, Texas, and discovered agriculture in high school FFA. From there, her love of advocating for beef led to an agriculture communications degree from Texas A&M University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Arkansas in agricultural education and extension with a focus in communication and leadership.

"I look forward to grasping Certified Angus Beef’s reach across the supply chain and more opportunities to advocate for the beef industry," Medina says.

Serving as the communications intern is Lauren Mosher. Raised on a fifth-generation diversified crop and livestock farm in Liscomb, Iowa, she represents one of the families who raise CAB. The Iowa State University senior in agricultural communications can connect her cutout data on fed steers and her cows in the pasture to the stories she will tell this summer.

"For many years, I’ve watched the product I raise earn this brand’s label," Mosher says. "It’s neat for me to keep learning about the brand and meet the people who work on behalf of the producer and consumer."

She says the internship is a great chance to grow her skillset and gain a better understanding of how CAB shares beef’s pasture-to-plate story across varying audiences in the supply chain.

Setting students up for successful careers is the foundation of CAB’s internship program.

"As a former Certified Angus Beef intern, I personally understand the value a summer with the brand can have on a young person’s career," says Nicole Erceg, director of communications. "This year’s interns are all bright, talented and passionate young leaders who I know will do great work on behalf of Angus breeders."

Taking education beyond the classroom, this year’s interns are already hard at work, learning along the way.

Bayer and Luke Bryan Continue Partnership to Celebrate America’s Farmers and Fight Hunger with #HeresToTheFarmer Campaign

Bayer today announced it is renewing its multi-year partnership with five-time entertainer of the year Luke Bryan, joining his 2022 Farm Tour as presenting sponsor and continuing their Here's to the Farmer campaign celebrating America’s farmers and fighting hunger. New this year, Kroger, America’s largest grocer, joins the campaign offering the first-ever Farm Tour 2022 sweepstakes, giving fans across the country the chance to win a Luke Bryan VIP experience, tickets, swag and more. Together Bayer, Kroger and Luke Bryan are encouraging fans to share the hashtag #HeresToTheFarmer on their social media channels. Now through October 31, 2022, for every share, Bayer will help provide one meal* through the Feeding America network, up to 1 million meals to communities in need.*

The son of a peanut farmer from Georgia, Bryan launched his Farm Tour in 2009 to highlight and celebrate the contributions of America's farmers. The Georgia native will set up stages in the fields of local farmers across six states this September 15-24, with tickets now on sale at

“I grew up around farming and know the tough work, passion, and grit you need to be an American farmer,” said Luke Bryan. “They play an incredibly important role in all our lives. That’s why I’m excited to again team up with my friends at Bayer to say ‘Here’s to the Farmer’ and give thanks for the work they do to make sure we all have food on the table, and give back to communities around the country.”

In 2015, Bayer partnered with Luke Bryan and launched its campaign to thank farmers and help fight hunger throughout the country.

“We are excited to continue our commitment to this important campaign and partnership with Luke Bryan and recognize the hard work and dedication from U.S. farmers to feed America and the world,” said Beth Roden, Senior Vice President and Head of U.S. Communications for Bayer U.S. “#HerestotheFarmer reinforces the vital role that farmers and food banks play in addressing food insecurity by feeding people in need in the U.S. – especially in rural communities. Through Bayer’s vision of Health for All, Hunger for None, and together, with Kroger, we’re striving to raise even more awareness of the critical issue of food insecurity and ensure more Americans have access to healthy food, all while thanking the ones who work so hard to provide for us.”

As one of the founding members of Feeding America, the Kroger Family of Companies are proud to collaborate with Bayer and Luke Bryan as they help provide meals to families across the U.S. As part of the #HerestotheFarmer campaign, Kroger will feature in-store signage and the first-ever Farm Tour Sweepstakes. The contest gives fans the chance to win one Grand Prize Luke Bryan VIP experience that includes two VIP tickets to a select Luke Bryan Farm Tour concert, a 3-day/2-night hotel stay, round-trip flights and more. In addition, 100 lucky secondary prize winners will receive Luke Bryan Farm Tour items including branded t-shirts, swag, autographed hats, photos and more.

“At Kroger, we believe Fresh starts with farmers. Farmers play a key role in keeping the freshest products on our shelves,” said Dan De La Rosa, Group Vice President, Fresh Merchandising, for Kroger. “That’s why we work with farmers who grow only the best to source locally and bring customers better, fresher options time and again. We’re honored to share our appreciation for farmers during the Luke Bryan Farm Tour, and we applaud Bayer’s support for the Feeding America network of food banks, who help people facing hunger every day. Aligned with Kroger’s commitment to creating a world with Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, we are excited to see Bayer and Luke Bryan shining a light on equitable food access during their #HerestotheFarmer tour.”

From now through July 2022, fans can go to and complete the online entry form by providing their email address. Once registered, they will automatically receive one entry in the sweepstakes. The grand prize winner and secondary prize winners will be selected in July 2022.

Since the inception of the #HerestotheFarmer campaign and partnership, nearly 5 million meals have been provided to Feeding America and more than $180,000 has been donated to Feeding America member food banks and local farmers at each of the tour cities.

“No one should have to worry about where they will find their next meal, but more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, face hunger in America. We are thankful to Luke Bryan, Bayer and Kroger for raising awareness of this issue and for their commitment to helping neighbors in need,” said Lauren Biedron, vice president of corporate partnerships at Feeding America. “Through the Here’s to the Farmer campaign, we hope people across the country will join together, contribute and help fight hunger in their communities.”

To learn more about Bayer's Here's To The Farmer campaign visit

Dates and locations for the tour include: FARM TOUR 2022
9/15 Monroeville, IN – Highland Farms
9/16 Mechanicsburg, OH – SpringFork Farms
9/17 Fowlerville, MI – Kubiak Family Farms
9/22 Murdock, NE – Stock Hay & Grain Farm
9/23 Boone, IA – Ziel Farm

9/24 Eyota, MN – Gar-Lin Dairy

For details on show locations and tickets, visit

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