Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday October 16 Ag News

NE Soybean Association Selects 2018 Young Leaders

Two soybean leaders from Nebraska will represent our state in the 2018 Young Leader Program.   Scott Langemeier of Scribner, NE and  Kevin Kucera  of Cedar Bluffs, NE have been selected to represent the Nebraska Soybean Association (NSA) in the  2018 American Soybean Association/ DuPont Pioneer Young Leader Program.

The Young Leader Program is sponsored by the American Soybean Association and DuPont Pioneer/DuPont Crop Protection.  It is designed to recognize and strengthen leadership in the agricultural community as well as cultivate producer leaders who are shaping the U.S. soybean industry.

Scott Langemeier is involved in the family farming operation in Dodge County where they raise corn, soybeans, and hogs and does some custom farming and trucking. Scott holds a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management and Agribusiness from Wayne State College.  Scott is active in his local church and serves on the Dodge County Fair Board.  Scott considers the top issues facing the soybean industry  are finding the best new soybean traits that meet the needs of combating resistant weeds, making sure we have access to world trade and good trade agreements and finding ways to keep soybean production profitable.

Kevin Kucera farms with his family on a farm located in Saunders, County where they raise soybeans and corn on the irrigated farm and have a custom spraying business. Kevin graduated from Southeast Community College in Milford with a degree in Farm Diesel Technology.  Kevin has been involved with the Saunders County Soybean and Corn Growers organizations by  attending leadership programs and serving on the county directors board for the Saunders County Soybean Growers.   He continues to participate in several on farm research projects through UNL involving cover crops into the farming rotation.  Kevin see’s the top issues facing our industry are a lack of trust between farmers and end uses and the need to see to it we maintain good trade deals with our international customers. 

Scott and Kevin will join the 2018 class of DuPont Pioneer Young Leaders, which is made up of selected leaders from each soybean producing state, to participate in an educational leadership experience in late November  at Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, IA.  He will complete the second part of training February 25-28, 2018  in Anaheim, CA  in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic.

NSA Young Leader committee chairman, Shane Greving of Chapman says “this program has been instrumental in helping to develop some of the top soybean industry leaders in the state.  Several past winners have gone on to serve in leadership positions with our state and national organizations.”

NSA is the grassroots commodity organization that is the policy advocate and collective voice of its producer-members on state wide issues and represents Nebraska domestically and internationally through membership of the American Soybean Association.

4 State Crop Insurance Workshop

Nov. 1, 2017
Heartland Event Center, 700 E. Stolley Park Road, Grand Island NE
Sandy Sterkel, 402-472-1742, ssterkel1@unl.edu

These workshops are for crop insurance agents, agricultural lenders, marketing consultants, agricultural educators, and other risk management service providers who want to help their clients make more profitable risk management decisions. Farmers and ranchers will be able to apply the information to improve their risk management decisions.

The workshops are a joint effort of the Colorado State University Extension, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Nebraska Extension, and Oklahoma State University Extension.

Additional Public Info:  http://cropinsure.unl.edu/

Nebraska Extension offers transition cow workshop

A Transition Cow workshop being offered by Nebraska Extension will focus on health that will set cows up for successful milking. The workshop will be held on Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Gage County Extension Office, 1115 W. Scott St, Beatrice, Neb.

“We need to understand the nutrition, health and overall well-being of the cows when in the transition phase,” said Kim Clark, Nebraska Dairy Extension Educator.  “We are setting our cows up for success with the health and milk production right before and immediately after they calf.”

Speakers will discuss cow health and behavior during the workshop. Barry Bradford from Kansas State University and will cover inflammation and immunity, along with energy balance. Jared Judy, a Ph.D student at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln will talk about Omega-3 fat and Glen Aines from Balchem Corporation will discuss choline and its connection to animal health and productivity.

The workshop is $30 per person and can be paid with your registration or at the door the day of the workshop.

To register, visit https://dairy.unl.edu/transition-cow or contact Dairy Extension Educator Kim Clark at 402-472-6065 or kimclark@unl.edu.

Two Types of Grain Marketing Workshops this Fall

Jessica Groskopf - NE Extension Educator for Agricultural Economics

Two grain marketing workshops will be offered at several sites across Nebraska starting in November to help grain producers minimize losses during this time of low prices.

A complimentary lunch is provided at each location. Workshops are funded by the Nebraska Corn Board and limited to 40 participants.

In the workshop Introduction to Futures and Options, Nebraska Extension educators will present strategies for using futures and options to protect farmers from adverse market movements.

In the workshop Developing Grain Marketing Plans, Nebraska Extension educators will discuss how to develop a written marketing plan and understanding basis and carrying charges, using location-and commodity-specific information.

Both workshops feature the Marketing in a New Era simulator and the Grain Marketing Plan smartphone application.

Grain Marketing: Introduction to Futures and Options Site

McCook - Nov. 6 - 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Red Willow Cnty Fairgrounds, 1400 West 5th St. - Robert Tigner, (308) 345-3390
Wayne     Nov. 15 - 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. - Wayne Fire Hall  510 Tomar Dr., Jim Jansen, (402) 261-7572
O'Neill     Nov. ?? - 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. - Holt Cnty Ext Office 128 N. 6th St., Jim Jansen, (402) 261-7572
Mead  Nov. 16 - 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. - Eastern Nebraska REC  1071 County Road G, Ithaca, Jim Jansen, (402) 261-7572
Holdrege  Nov. 21  - 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  Phelps Cnty Ext Office  1308 Second St. Robert Tigner, (308) 345-3390
Beatrice  Dec. 11 - 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.  - Gage Cnty Ext Office  1115 W. Scott, Austin Duerfeldt, (402) 873-3166
York Dec. 12 - 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. - York Cnty Fairgrounds  2345 N Nebraska Ave., Austin Duerfeldt, (402) 873-3166
Nebraska City     Dec. 13     9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. - Kimmel Education and Research Ctr 5985 G Rd 

Register by visiting http://go.unl.edu/marketingworkshops or calling the contact for site.

277 FFA Jackets Awarded

Victoria Talcott, NE FFA Foundation

This year’s Blue Jacket. Bright Futures. program received the most applications ever with 764 applications.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we were able to award 277 deserving FFA members with a new FFA jacket and tie or scarf. A committee met last Wednesday to review the applications to choose the winners. They found that there are many FFA members that are ready to begin their FFA career by already participating in chapter meetings, contests and community service.

FFA members that applied ranged in age, background and future in FFA. The committee enjoyed reading over the questions that the members answered. Each student answered what FFA means to them, how the jacket will impact them, what they have done and what their FFA future holds.

Here is a glimpse of what some FFA members wrote on their applications:

When the FFA chapter raised money for a family member in need this FFA member knew that she was going to join. “I remember meeting the new advisor and seeing all of the members helping serve food and having fun to help out my family. That showed me that FFA is so much more than judging cows and wearing boots. It helped me know that there are going to be chances to help others.”

Another FFA member wrote, “FFA shapes people into leaders so we can contribute to our chapter, be positive role models for the youth and lead our chapter to greatness. It also teaches members about life skills, like saving money and keeping good records through the SAE program. Overall, FFA is a way we can come together and help each other improve upon ourselves and work together to be successful.”

One member wrote their views of FFA. “There are only two words to describe FFA, and those are great experience. The reason I say that is because you have so many opportunities to get to learn new things, meet new people and even travel.”

As you can tell from reading these three application quotes, these members are all passionate about agriculture and deserved FFA jackets.

Thank you to all of our jacket donors, and congratulations to all jacket recipients!

Iowa Organic Conference to Highlight Robust Growth

The 17th annual Iowa Organic Conference, a joint effort between Iowa State University and the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability, will be held Nov. 19-20 on the UI campus in Iowa City. Producers and experts from across the country will share tips for transitioning into organic production and methods to enhance organic operations.

"The market for organic products in the United States reached $47 billion in 2016, and even with 21,781 certified organic operations in the U.S., the demand for organic grains and produce continues to exceed supply," said Kathleen Delate, professor and extension organic specialist in horticulture and agronomy at Iowa State. "Growers everywhere are encouraged to consider the potential for organic production to reap premium prices and environmental benefits."

The conference begins on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. with a reception featuring local, organic food and drinks. The conference lunch on Monday afternoon highlights local and organic produce, meats and dairy products assembled into a gourmet meal by UI award-winning executive chef Barry Greenberg.

Monday's keynote speaker is Jeff Moyer, executive director of the Rodale Institute, the first U.S. organic institute. Moyer is a world-renowned authority in organic agriculture. His expertise includes organic crop production systems with a focus on weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, farm equipment design and modification and crop-livestock integration. He helped pioneer organic no-till farming and has written a book on the subject.Nate Palm

Monday's break-out sessions include transitioning into organic farming, weed management, organic livestock production, organic no-till for grain and vegetable crops and new small grain crops. Nate Palm, an organic farmer from Montana, will present on his transition to organic farming and the road to diversity and economic success on his diverse crop and livestock farm. The conference also includes information on soil and water quality research, economic and financial assistance for organic producers, and local food system initiatives.

"The Iowa Organic Conference is the largest university-sponsored organic conference in the country," said Delate. "Last year's conference brought over 50 exhibitors, ranging from organic seed sales, to local food system non-profits, to government offices working with transitioning and certified organic farmers. Despite the challenges of wet weather at planting and drought in July in many parts of the state, organic farmers are anticipating successful yields with organic soybean prices currently averaging $19 per bushel and organic corn at $8.70 per bushel."

Online conference registration is available at http://bit.ly/organicconference .

Hotel rooms are available at the Iowa House Hotel for Nov. 19. Guests may access room reservations by visiting the hotel's website and entering group number 1280, or by calling the hotel at 319-335-3513, and mentioning the Iowa Organic Conference.

For additional conference information and directions to the conference, contact Delate at kdelate@iastate.edu or 515-294-5116.

National Pork Board Chooses Yummly to Host and Distribute Recipes

With a focus on upgrading its digital footprint and connecting with consumers, the Pork Checkoff has launched a unique recipe partnership with Yummly. A leading recipe app and website, Yummly offers personalized recipe recommendations and cooking resources to its more than 23 million registered users.

This change in digital strategy and, specifically, how the Pork Board manages its pork recipes reflects a combined focus on capturing meal trends with how today’s cook searches for information. The first step in that process is to build a relationship with an industry leader in recipe recommendations, search and personalization.

“Today’s cook expects recipes and information to be at their fingertips. Smartphone apps like Yummly are precisely how to get our information in front of consumers,” said Steve Rommereim, vice president and member of the Checkoff’s Domestic Marketing committee and a South Dakota pork producer. “We need to keep pork top of mind through access to creative recipes and ideas that are available in real time.”

Through this partnership, the Pork Checkoff will streamline its current recipe promotion and distribution process while improving the consumer user experience. The agreement with Yummly will mean the Pork Board’s more than 2,100 recipes will find a home in front of Yummly’s millions of users.

“This partnership is a great opportunity to fulfill the mission of both organizations,” said Brian Witlin, Yummly Chief Executive Officer. “For Yummly, our driving goal is always to answer the question ‘what’s for dinner?’ before it’s even asked. The strategic use of digital technology is critical as younger, mobile audiences look for daily inspiration on what to cook.”

Yummly has highly engaged users that consult their database of more than two million recipes to drive daily decisions on what to make which, in turn, drives grocery purchases.

“This will allow a seamless process in motivating consumers to buy pork,” said Jarrod Sutton, vice president of domestic marketing. “It all starts with searching the app for a recipe, finding the ideal recipe and generating a list of the foodstuffs needed to purchase. In the long term, we will have a platform to educate pork consumers on our three key issues of quality, cut names and cooking temps.”

The Yummly site will use pork-branded pages to share and distribute recipes from all sites, including state pork association websites and pork.org. The transition of pork recipes and the launch of the pork-branded pages on the Yummly app will be complete in early December as the newly designed pork.org launches.

Republican Governors Express Concern to President Trump Over EPA Actions on RFS

Today four Republican Governors sent a letter to President Trump with concerns on the recently proposed changes to America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), urging the president to keep his promises to rural America to support the RFS.

“The renewable fuels industry in our states—and others—is poised to grow if the EPA sends positive and consistent market signals through increases in the required volumes. That will enhance America’s energy security, value-added agriculture and rural economic prosperity. We urge you to continue to fulfill your promises, to continue your support for all biofuels under the RFS and to continue to put America first,” the governors write.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a request for additional comments on reducing previously finalized volumes required by the RFS program and on using waiver authorities to further reduce biodiesel volumes. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has serious concerns with EPA’s recent actions and coordinated closely with these governors to communicate their concerns to the administration. Specifically, the latest proposed cuts to the RFS volumes threaten jobs in rural America, negatively affect the companies who have invested to comply with the law and undermine the energy security goals of the RFS program.

“NBB appreciates the principled stand these governors have taken. They are right to remind the president that millions of citizens from their states are ardent supporters of his, and he made explicit promises to farmers to protect biofuels investments and the Renewable Fuel Standard. President Trump knows that a strong, growing RFS is needed to uphold his promises and to stave off a recession in rural America,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer at the National Biodiesel Board.

In the letter, the governors called on EPA Administrator Pruitt to support the job creation and agricultural benefits that higher volumes of biofuels provide: “the proposed volumes … could cause near-term job losses and discourage investment in capacity and new fuel development.”

Led by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, three other governors signed onto the letter, including Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Eric Greitens of Missouri and Sam Brownback of Kansas.

Bipartisan Group of Senators Urges EPA’s Pruitt to Protect Biodiesel in the RFS

Today a bipartisan group of 34 senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the recently proposed changes to America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), urging them to increase the volumes of biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel in the final rule.

“Reducing volumes—and especially those [Renewable Volume Obligations] RVOs that were previously finalized—is disruptive, unprecedented and very troubling,” the senators write. “These volumes do not meet actual biodiesel production capacity in the United States, and could have a negative impact on jobs and economies in rural communities across the nation.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a request for additional comments on reducing previously finalized volumes required by the RFS program and on using waiver authorities to further reduce biodiesel volumes. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has serious concerns with EPA’s recent actions and made their concerns known with these biodiesel champions in the Senate. The latest proposed cuts to the RFS volumes threaten jobs in rural America, negatively affect the companies who have invested to comply with the law, and undermine the energy security goals of the RFS program.

“EPA should seek comment on factors that warrant HIGHER advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel volumes in order to achieve Congress’s goals of diversifying our fuel supply, supporting rural jobs and enhancing U.S. energy security. Instead, the recent request for comment from EPA flaunts these objectives—with the potential to eradicate jobs and bankrupt farmers,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer at the National Biodiesel Board.

In the letter, the senators called on EPA Administrator Pruitt to support the job creation and agricultural benefits that higher volumes of biofuels provide: “the proposed volumes … could cause near-term job losses and discourage investment in capacity and new fuel development.”

Led by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), 30 other senators signed onto the letter, including Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.),  Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Angus King (D-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

ACE hosts Latin American trade group on ethanol tour

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) hosted a Latin American trade team organized by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) at its Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based office today as part of the group’s pre-tour prior to the Ethanol Summit of the Americas in Houston. The tour group consists of a mixture of government and industry representatives from at least six countries including Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The pre-tour is to provide the delegation of ministry industry members with an overview of ethanol production and its value chain in the United States. The South Dakota visit will also include a tour of an ethanol plant, a visit to a livestock farm where distillers dried grains (DDGs) are an important part of feed rations, a visit to ACE Board President Ron and Keith Alverson’s farm where they deploy practices to produce zero-carbon corn, and a stop at fuel marketer and ACE Power by People subject Bruce Vollan’s Midway Service station.

ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty shared his ethanol market expertise with the visiting trade group and answered their questions about the industry. At the request of USGC, Lamberty recently traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico, to meet with members of Association Mexicana De Empresarios Gasolineros (AMEGAS), Mexico’s largest group of gasoline station owners, to discuss challenges and opportunities with offering ethanol blended gasoline.

“The new market developing in Mexico reminds me of when I was starting out as one of the first ethanol retailers and wholesale splash-blenders in the U.S.,” Lamberty said. “Independent marketers there seemed interested in ethanol options, and I’m happy to travel to or host interested groups to educate them about higher ethanol blends.”

Lamberty also recently met with a touring USGC delegation from South Korea on their stop in Omaha, Nebraska. Lamberty spoke with the group – which included representatives of oil and chemical companies, the Korean Department of Energy and engineering professors – about ethanol’s octane value as a fuel blending component.

As ACE gets more actively involved in export promotion, the organization will continue to work with USGC to provide information to retailers and others who want to sell more ethanol.

CWT Assists with 965,625 Pounds of Cheese Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted four requests for export assistance from a member that has contracts to sell 965,625 pounds (438 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese to customers in the Asia, the Middle East and Oceania. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from November 2017 through January 2018.

So far this year, CWT has assisted member cooperatives who have contracts to sell 56.193 million pounds of American-type cheeses, and 4.556 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 21 countries on five continents. The sales are the equivalent of 621.164 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program in the long term helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

Farm Bureau Ag Investment Summit Brings Entrepreneurs and Investors Together

For the second year, the American Farm Bureau is offering a one-day conference to help entrepreneurs tap into the billions of dollars venture capital fund managers are looking to put into agriculture and food businesses. The 2018 Farm Bureau Agriculture Investment Summit, hosted in conjunction with the organization’s Annual Convention, is slated for Jan. 6 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Geared toward entrepreneurs, investors and Farm Bureau staff who want to support entrepreneurs in their states, the conference will address pitching to investors and working with them in the early stages, attracting later stage private equity investors, and dealing with legal issues.

“As a start-up, there is a cost to going out and meeting people and raising capital. One of the best things about this conference is the American Farm Bureau is bringing together some of the top ag tech investors in the country. Having access to those resources in one place, at one event, is an outstanding opportunity,” said Casey Niemann, founder of AgriSync, an app that allows advisors to reach their farmer-customers with mobile-first, video-first support on any connected device.  Niemann attended the 2017 conference.

Attendees will also hear about both sides of the venture capital coin; entrepreneurs will share their stories of taking on investors, while investors will explain exactly what they’re looking for.

“It was very helpful to look at investment capital from the other side of the table. As a start-up, you’re so focused on your business and your capital needs. It’s really valuable to look at the risk and the strategy of the investor, meaning what do they need in terms of their portfolio to make a return for their investors,” Niemann said.                                                                                               

In addition, the conference will give the best entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their businesses to investors during rapid-fire pitch sessions.

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