Monday, August 2, 2021

Friday July 30 Ag News

 Ag land management webinar to focus on updated cash rents, landlord-tenant issues

Nebraska agricultural land values, cash rental rates and issues related to landlord and tenant communication will covered at noon Aug. 16 during the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s next Agricultural Land Management Quarterly webinar.

Offered since 2019, the quarterly webinars address common management problems for Nebraska landowners, agricultural operators and related stakeholders interested in the latest insight on trends in real estate, managing agricultural land and solutions for addressing challenges in the upcoming growing season.

The webinar series is presented by the Center for Agricultural Profitability, housed in the Department of Agricultural Economics.

The August webinar will cover recent findings from the 2021 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Report, including updates on average cash rental rates and land values, as well as a report on real estate transactions during COVID-19. The session will conclude with an “Ask the Experts” session, offering participants the chance to get live answers to their land or lease questions.

The webinar will be led by Jim Jansen and Allan Vyhnalek, who are both in the Department of Agricultural Economics. Jansen focuses on agricultural finance and land economics and directs the annual Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey and Report. Vyhnalek is a farm succession and farmland management extension educator.

The webinar is free and will be recorded. Past recordings can be viewed the day after each session, along with recordings from the entire series.

Registration is free at


Nebraska crops could pave the way to better performing, cheaper and greener roads.

Hamzeh Haghshenas Fatmehsari, research assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and colleagues are studying the efficacy of using corn and soybean oil to recycle asphalt. The studies are funded by the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board.

Using recycled asphalt pavement is better for the environment, saves money and may create a new market for corn and soybean oil, Haghshenas Fatmehsari said.

“Altogether, it’s a great project for our state,” he said.

Recycled asphalt pavement, or RAP, is the material produced when the top of a road in need of repair is removed by the Nebraska Department of Transportation and other cities and counties. Rather than wasting the materials, RAP can be recycled and repurposed using recycling agents, additives and oils that help return the asphalt to a quality state.

Historically, RAP material was used on a minimal basis. Now more attention is paid to the cost and environmental savings of the material. When recycling asphalt, crude oil can be used, but the rising costs of crude and its impact on the environment prompted researchers to explore greener alternatives, such as vegetable oils. Through his research, Haghshenas Fatmehsari knew that vegetable oils, specifically corn and soybean oil, were great options for recycling asphalt in the short term. Now he and his team are trying to improve the long-term performance of RAP material containing these oils.

By using corn and soybean oil rather than other plant oils or crude oil, Haghshenas Fatmehsari is promoting locally sourced, lower-cost and environmentally friendly alternatives. The research could create a new market for soybean and corn oil, which prompted the corn and soybean boards to provide funding.

"As a farmer, these kinds of projects and initiatives are really important," said Nathan Dorn, farmer and chair of the Nebraska Soybean Board’s research committee. "We are finding ways to increase demand for our soybean oil while supporting a method that decreases our environmental impact and benefits taxpayers and those that utilize and drive on asphalt pavements."

RAP material cost savings have already begun in Nebraska. From 2008 to 2019, the Nebraska Department of Transportation used, on average, 39% RAP in its asphalt road paving mixes. The practice proved cost-effective and saved more than $400 million, or about $34 million annually. The researchers are hoping to increase RAP contents, leading to larger savings and improved performance. Current and past researchers on Haghshenas Fatmehsari’s team include Muhammad Ahmad, Khalid Al Washahi, Nitish Bastola and Mahdieh Khedmati.

The project is in its second of a projected four years. Haghshenas Fatmehsari aimes to implement his research in the final phase by placing and testing the asphalt mixture containing chemically improved vegetable oils and RAP material on a one-mile section of Nebraska road. If successful, Nebraskans may find themselves with an improved economy and more sustainable asphalt roads.

Nebraska Cattlemen’s Voice Amplified in U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture and U.S. Senate Judiciary Hearings

This week, the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing titled “State of the Beef Supply Chain: Shocks, Recovery, and Rebuilding” to focus on ongoing market challenges that threaten the profitability and business continuity of cattlemen and women.

Nebraska Cattlemen shared members’ concerns regarding the live cattle market, processing capacity, labor challenges, and market transparency via written testimony, submitted into the record by Congressman Don Bacon. Nebraska Cattlemen’s comments focused on how cattle producer members and their livelihoods are directly impacted by the cattle market’s ability, or inability, to send appropriate price signals up and down the beef cattle supply chain and highlighted efforts in the House of Representatives that echo the work of Senator Fischer’s Cattle Market Transparency Act in the Senate.

“Adequate beef processing capacity is critical to maintaining profitability in the beef and cattle industry and ensuring a steady supply of beef and beef products to consumers. Currently, there is not only a shortage of adequate processing capacity, there is also a reduction of processing throughput across the country.”-wrote William H. Rhea III, President – Nebraska Cattlemen.

The voice of Nebraska Cattlemen was also heard in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled “Beefing up Competition: Examining America’s Food Supply Chain” to focus on the ongoing competition issue in the meatpacking industry. Issues highlighted during the hearing focused on meatpacking industry consolidation and the reduction of competition in the meatpacking, distribution, and grocery industries.

Nebraska Cattlemen emphasized concerns on how shrinking beef processing capacity and meatpacking industry consolidation negatively impact live cattle markets via written testimony, read into the record by Senator Ben Sasse. Nebraska Cattlemen’s comments focused on the rapid acceleration of consolidation in the meatpacking industry and questioned the lack of investment in processing capacity by the four largest companies in the meatpacking industry, despite strong demand signals to expand – compounded by record profits.

“The U.S. meatpacking industry has consolidated rapidly in the last two decades, as today’s largest meatpacking companies have built very large plants, with many independent meatpackers disappearing. Today, four meatpacking companies handle nearly 80 percent of all steer and heifer slaughter; just two decades ago, concentration was less than half as high.”—wrote William H. Rhea III, President – Nebraska Cattlemen.

Nebraska Cattlemen continues to work for our producers, pasture to plate, utilizing platforms like these hearings to amplify members’ voices regarding ongoing issues within the fragile beef supply chain. Nebraska Cattlemen leadership and staff will continue working with stakeholders, elected officials and regulators to expand transparency and improve competition in the marketplace.


Farm and ranch production expenditures for Nebraska totaled $20.3 billion in 2020, down 4% from a year earlier, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Livestock expenses, the largest expenditure category, at $5.03 billion, decreased 10% from 2019. Rent, the next largest expense category, at $2.44 billion, decreased 2% from 2019. Feed, the third largest total expense category at $2.17 billion, decreased 11% from 2019.

Livestock expenses accounted for 25% of Nebraska's total production expenditures. Rent accounted for 12, feed 11, and farm services 9%.

The total expenditures per farm or ranch in Nebraska averaged $445,714 in 2020, down 3 from 2019. The Livestock expense category was the leading expenditure, at $110,549 per operation, 5.61 times the national average. Rent expenditures, at $53,626 per operation, were 3.58 times the national average. The average feed expenditure, at $47,692, was 1.69 times the national average. Farm services expenditures per operation, at $40,879, were 1.84 times the national average.

These results are based on data from Nebraska farmers and ranchers who participated in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey conducted by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Producers were contacted in January through April to collect 2020 farm and ranch expenses.


 Iowa farm production expenditures totaled $28.5 billion in 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farm Production Expenditures 2020 Summary report. This was $1.85 billion less than the 2019 total expenditures. Feed expense, which decreased 15% to $5.90 billion, represented the largest single production expense in Iowa in 2020, accounting for 21% of the total. Livestock, Poultry, and Related purchases, which decreased 9% to $4.51 billion, was the second largest expense, and accounted for 16% of total expenditures. Rent expense decreased 6% to $3.61 billion and accounted for 13% of the total. The largest percentage increases from last year were for Fertilizer, lime, and soil conditioners (up 17%), Taxes (up 15%), and Farm services (up 10%). The largest percentage decreases from last year were for Farm improvements (down 51%), Miscellaneous capital expenses (down 33%), and Trucks and autos (down 23%).

2020 United States Total Farm Production Expenditure Highlights

Farm production expenditures in the United States are estimated at $366.2 billion for 2020, up from $357.8 billion in 2019. The 2020 total farm  production expenditures are up 2.3 percent compared with 2019 total farm production expenditures. For the 17-line items, thirteen showed an increase from previous year, while four showed a decrease.

The four largest expenditures at the United States level total $177.8 billion and account for 48.5 percent of total expenditures in 2020. These include feed, 15.5 percent, farm services, 12.2 percent, livestock, poultry, and related expenses, 10.8 percent, and labor, 10.0 percent.

In 2020, the United States total farm expenditure average per farm is $182,130, up 2.6 percent from $177,564 in 2019. On average, United States farm operations spent $28,250 on feed, $19,695 on livestock, poultry, and related expenses, $22,232 on farm services, and $18,253 on labor. For 2019, United States farms spent an average of $29,478 on feed, $21,240 on farm services, $21,240 on livestock, poultry, and related expenses, and $17,270 on labor.

Total fuel expense is $11.1 billion. Diesel, the largest sub-component, is $7.1 billion, accounting for 64.0 percent. Diesel expenditures are down 10.1 percent from the previous year. Gasoline is $2.0 billion, down 11.6 percent. LP gas is $1.3 billion, down 11.0 percent. Other fuel is $730 million, up 2.8 percent.

The United States economic sales class contributing most to the 2020 United States total expenditures is the $1,000,000 - $4,999,999 class, with expenses of $116.4 billion, 31.8 percent of the United States total, up 2.4 percent from the 2019 level of $113.7 billion. The next highest is the $5,000,000 and over class with $97.9 billion, unchanged from $97.9 billion in 2019.

In 2020, crop farms expenditures increased to $195.5 billion, up 7.6 percent, while livestock farms expenditures decreased to $170.7 billion, down 3.1 percent. The largest expenditures for crop farms are labor at $27.0 billon (13.8 percent), farm services at $26.2 billion (13.4 percent), and rent at $25.1 billion (12.8 percent). Combined crop inputs (chemicals, fertilizers, and seeds) are $56.4 billion, accounting for 28.9 percent of crop farms total expenses. The largest expenditures for livestock farms are feed at $55.2 billion (32.3 percent of total), livestock, poultry, and related expenses at $38.0 billion (22.3 percent), and farm services at $18.5 billion (10.8 percent). Together, these line items account for 65.4 percent of livestock farms total expenses. The average total expenditure for a crop farm is $208,571 compared to $160,203 per livestock farm.

The Midwest region contributed the most to United States total expenditures with expenses of $112.8 billion (30.8 percent), up from $111.5 billion in 2019. Other regions, ranked by total expenditures, are the West at $86.1 billion (23.5 percent), Plains at $85.3 billion (23.3 percent), Atlantic at $44.2 billion (12.1 percent), and South at $37.8 billion (10.3 percent). The Plains decreased $2.59 billion from 2019, which is the largest regional decrease.

Combined total expenditures for the 15 estimate states is $242.3 billion in 2020 (66.2 percent of the United States total expenditures) and $242.2 billion in 2019 (67.7 percent). California contributed most to the 2020 United States total expenditures, with expenses of $41.9 billion, (11.4 percent). California expenditures are down 1.8 percent from the 2019 estimate of $42.7 billion. Iowa, the next leading state, has $28.5 billion in expenses, (7.8 percent). Other states with more than $20 billion in total expenditures are Texas with $22.8 billion and Nebraska with $20.3 billion.

New Education Specialist Ready to Help Pork Producers

Annika Koppes is in the right place. As the newest staff member of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University, she’s excited to combine her love of pigs with the chance to work with members of the pork industry.

“I was interested in this position because of the opportunity to help educate people about various aspects of the swine industry,” said Koppes, education specialist with the Iowa Pork Industry Center. “I also wanted to help promote IPIC.”

Koppes grew up in Iowa Falls and said she found her passion for agriculture in seventh grade by “falling in love with swine.”

She continued her involvement in the industry and graduated this May with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Life Sciences Education. Now she can put that passion to work as extension education specialist with IPIC.

“I hope to help producers by being hands-on within the industry,” she said. “I hope to expand their knowledge by expanding my own knowledge.”

Koppes works primarily with Stacie Matchan, IPIC extension program specialist.

“A majority of Annika’s time will include coordinating the Improving Pig Survivability project, which will help increase the scope and quantity of extension materials we can generate from it,” Matchan said.

“Also, we’re thrilled to have Annika on board to assist with some new programming efforts with undergraduates interested in the swine industry,” she continued. “As a recent Iowa State graduate, her experience and ideas definitely will help with these efforts.”

Although she’s been at IPIC for just a few weeks, Koppes' enthusiasm for the position and her responsibilities remains in high gear.

“I am extremely excited to be part of IPIC and invite people to reach out to me,” she said.

Koppes can be contacted by email at and by phone at 641-430-1449.

Secretary Naig Issues Statement Following Confirmation of African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following statement today after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed positive cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic. ASF is not considered a risk to human health or food safety but it has the potential to spread quickly among commercial, backyard, show and wild pig populations.

“I’m very concerned to learn there have been confirmed cases of African Swine Fever in the Western Hemisphere. While ASF is not a human health or food safety concern, we’ve watched the devastation it has caused to pig populations, pork producers, commodity markets and international trade as it spread through other parts of the world. We appreciate the USDA APHIS and Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to keep ASF out of the continental United States.

“ASF and other foreign animal diseases are real threats to our livestock herds and Iowa’s agriculture-based economy. That’s why the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s team of animal health experts have been working on developing, testing and strengthening our preparation and response plans for several years.

“I want to remind Iowa’s livestock producers that now is the time to evaluate your farm’s biosecurity protocols and look for opportunities to strengthen them. Work with your herd veterinarian to monitor the health of your livestock. If you observe any clinical signs that are consistent with ASF, contact your veterinarian and state or federal animal health officials immediately.

“I ask all Iowans to be vigilant when traveling internationally. Please do not bring meat or meat products from other countries into the U.S. Upon returning home, do not visit a farm or come into contact with livestock for at least five days to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.”

About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Foreign Animal Disease Planning and Prevention Efforts

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has participated in a series of foreign animal disease workshops and tabletop exercises over the past several years to strengthen its response plans. Recently, the Department hosted a day-long workshop with producers and agriculture group leaders to test its plans to respond to an outbreak at a fair or exhibition.

A list of resources for producers, including biosecurity best practices, how to update Premises Identifications, links to foreign animal disease webinars, and a video demonstrating how to set up a cleaning and disinfection corridor are available

About ASF

ASF is a viral disease that affects domestic, feral and pet pigs. Pigs can contract the disease through direct contact with other infected pigs, ingestion of contaminated feed or garbage, or shared equipment. Pigs infected with ASF may exhibit a fever, decreased appetite, weakness, red, blotchy skin or skin lesions, diarrhea and vomiting, coughing or difficulty breathing. There are no treatments or vaccines available for ASF.

Chad Willis, Minnesota Farmer, Elected U.S. Grains Council Chairman During Hybrid Summer Meeting

The delegates of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) elected Chad Willis, a farmer from Minnesota representing the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, as chairman of its Board of Directors at its 61st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting, held in Des Moines, Iowa, and virtually on Friday.

“I was drawn to the Council because I need dependable markets to sustain my farming operation. But as I’ve served the Council and, as I’ve been able to see firsthand by traveling to other countries, it’s a two-way street – to be successful, we need each other.,” said Willis in his incoming remarks.

“As we recognize the importance of our grain markets, we must continue to build on our value-added markets for DDGS and ethanol. The value of global trade has so much potential if we work together to access them.”

Willis has been farming since 1997 and has worked in both the corn milling and feed industries. He was a member of the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council before serving on its board. After joining the Council, he served on both the Value-Added Advisory Team (A-Team) and was a vocal advocate for creating the Council’s Ethanol A-Team before serving on the Council’s Board of Directors and being to the Council’s officer rotation in YEAR.

Brent Boydston of Bayer Crop Science has been elected as the Council's Secretary-Treasurer. Additionally, Verity Ulibarri of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and Jay Fischer, Missouri Corn Growers Association, were elected as at-large directors.

The full USGC Board of Directors is now as follows:
– Chad Willis, Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council –Chairman
– Joshua Miller, Indiana Corn Marketing Council – Vice Chairman
– Brent Boydston, Bayer Crop Science – Secretary-Treasurer
– Verity Ulibarri, United Sorghum Checkoff Program - At-Large Director
– Jay Fischer, Missouri Corn Growers Association – At-Large Director
– Don Duvall, Illinois Corn Marketing Board - At-Large Director
– Greg Hibner, J.D. Heiskell Hawkeye Gold – Agribusiness Sector Director
– Mark Wilson, Illinois Corn Marketing Board – Corn Sector Director
– Jim Massey, United Sorghum Checkoff Program – Sorghum Sector Director
– Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn Marketing Program, State Checkoff Sector Director
– Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy – Agribusiness-Ethanol and Co-Products Sector Director
– Nathan Boll, North Dakota Barley Council – Barley Sector Director
– Jim Raben, Illinois Corn Marketing Board - Past President
– Ryan LeGrand, U.S. Grains Council – President and CEO

Outgoing Chairman Jim Raben said in remarks to Council delegates that the organizations fortunate to have many qualified individuals passionate about the agricultural industry in leadership positions at the Council.

“Our new chairman, the Board of Directors and the Board of Delegates provide excellent insight into the challenges and opportunities in the international trade arena,” Raben said.

NBB Applauds House Letter Supporting RFS

Today, the National Biodiesel Board thanked a bipartisan group of Congress members for asking EPA Administrator Michael Regan to prioritize the Renewable Fuel Standard. In a letter sent today, 29 Representatives called on EPA to issue overdue RFS rules as soon as possible and increase advanced biofuels volumes.

"Advanced biofuels supported through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are critical to the success of rural America and the many hard-working Americans that depend on a robust biofuels industry," the letter states. "Further, low-carbon advanced biofuels are important to states and cities that are pursuing carbon reduction goals for clean, low-carbon transportation and home heating programs. The RFS ensures that all Americans can access cleaner fuels and benefit from the economic opportunities the advanced biofuel industry provides."

Kurt Kovarik, NBB's Vice President for Federal Affairs, added, "On behalf of NBB's members, I want to thank Representatives Rodney Davis, Angie Craig, Dusty Johnson, Cindy Axne, Mark Pocan, Adrian Smith and others for their support of the biodiesel industry and the RFS. The letter specifically notes that biodiesel and renewable diesel reduce carbon emissions and criteria pollutants. Optimizing the RFS and increasing use of these advanced biofuels will help EPA further the goals and priorities set by Administrator Regan. It is critical that EPA issue the overdue RFS rules as soon as possible."

The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year. Every 100 million gallons of production supports 3,200 jobs and $780 million in economic opportunity. Biodiesel production supports approximately 13% of the value of each U.S. bushel of soybeans.

 ASA Now Accepting Applications for the Conservation Legacy Awards

Share the story of how conservation is part of your farm operation and you could be recognized with a Conservation Legacy Award. The awards recognize farm management practices of U.S. soybean farmers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable.

Are you using a reduced tillage practice on your farm? Do you grow cover crops? Have you taken steps to improve energy efficiency or water quality? These are just a few conservation practices used on some farms today that can help produce sustainable U.S. soybeans. Different regions of the country have their own unique challenges and ways to approach conservation and sustainability. We want to hear your farm’s conservation story!

All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible to enter to win a Conservation Legacy Award. Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, conservation, environmental management and sustainability.

The selection process for these awards is divided into four regions – the Midwest, Upper Midwest, the Northeast and the South. One farmer from each of these regions will be recognized at the 2022 Commodity Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana, and one of these farmers will be named the National Conservation Legacy Award recipient.

Award Winners Receive:
• An expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, March 10-12, 2022, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
• A feature story and video on each award winner’s farm and conservation practices.
• Potential opportunity to receive a conservation grant to make further improvements to their operation.

The Conservation Legacy Awards are sponsored by the American Soybean Association (ASA), BASF, Bayer, the United Soybean Board/Soybean Checkoff and Valent U.S.A.

More information on past winners of the award and how to submit your application is available in the “About” section under “Awards” on the ASA website. All applications must be submitted by Sept. 10, 2020.

R-CALF USA Convention to Reaffirm Immediate Need for 50/14, M-COOL

R-CALF USA, the nation’s largest producer-only national cattle trade association, will hold its 22nd annual convention and trade show Aug. 19-20, 2021, in Rapid City, South Dakota at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center located at 444 Mount Rushmore Road. At its convention, the group intends to strengthen its national strategy to quickly fix the United States’ broken cattle market crisis by restoring competition for both cattle and beef.

The group says the two immediate solutions that Congress must implement right now to preserve the nation’s largest sector of agriculture – the cattle sector, are to restore mandatory country of origin labeling (M-COOL) for beef and pass the 50/14 Spot Market Protection Bill S. 949 (50/14 bill) that requires beef packers with more than 1 plant to purchase 50% of their cattle in the competitive cash market each week.

Last December the group released the first-ever U.S. Cattle Industry Long Range Plan to serve as a roadmap which it says will reverse the ongoing decline of the cattle industry. The plan calls for producers to take specific actions, and this year’s convention will provide attendees with factual information and the necessary steps to restore the same opportunities within the cattle industry that initially helped build America, before the packing cartel got ahold of it.

The day before convention, Property Rights Day hosted by the Range Allotment Owners Association is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. MDT, Wednesday, Aug. 18. The day’s speakers include Bill Norton, National Center for Constitutional Studies; Carlos Salazar, Northern New Mexico Stockman’s Association; and Roni Sylvester a property and water rights advocate.

The R-CALF USA Convention and Trade Show opens at 8 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 19. Thursday morning’s presentations include “The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef: They’re Coming for You and Your Ranch” by Wyoming rancher and attorney Tracy Hunt and “Creating a Prosperous Future for the American Sheep Industry” by Utah Sheep Producer Carson Jorgensen.

Thursday’s luncheon presentation will be “Family Farmers and Working Families: The Fair Trade Movement in 2021” by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Trade Policy Specialist Mike Dolan.

Thursday afternoon’s presentations include “The Battle Over Mandatory RFID Continues: Latest Developments in Federal Overreach and Other Issues of Concern to Livestock Producers” by Harriet Hageman, Senior Litigation Counsel New Civil Liberties Alliance. Hageman is R-CALF USA’s attorney for its ongoing RFID lawsuit.

A panel will follow featuring affiliate organization leaders Freddie Keaton, Independent Cattlemen of Missouri; Kerry Dockter, president of Independent Beef Association of North Dakota; Brad and Andrea Hutchison, co-founders of Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Assoc.; and Scott Edoff, president of South Dakota Stockgrowers Assoc.

R-CALF USA’s counsel for its ongoing antitrust lawsuit, Anthony Fata, from Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel, will speak on “The Role of Cattle Futures in the Cattle Antitrust Litigation.” American Stewards of Liberty Executive Director Margaret Byfield’s “Peeling Back the Layers of Biden’s 30 x 30 Land Grab will be Thursday’s final speaker presentation.

An on-site Trade Show and Affiliate Mixer for convention attendees to walk through trade show and affiliate booths will wrap-up the first day.

Friday begins at 7 a.m. with the “True Grit Prayer Breakfast” by Max Thornsberry, DVM, and R-CALF USA’s former president, to be followed by the CEO Report, Checkoff Committee Report and Checkoff Petition Update.

Friday’s presentations include “Legal Checks on the Checkoff: R-CALF USA’s Lawsuit Update” by David Muraskin, Food Project Senior Attorney at Public Justice, and “Working Together to Raise It, Grow It and Make it in America” by Greg Owens, Sherrill Manufacturing and Liberty Tabletop.

Friday’s luncheon panel will feature small meat processors Ken Charfauros, Wall Meat Processing and Jim Hertzog, Hertzog Meat Company and Mo-Kan Livestock Market.

Friday’s afternoon includes two panels: “Livestock Markets Panel” and “Media Panel.” Livestock markets panelists include Bryan Hanson, Fort Pierre Livestock Auction in South Dakota; Quest Flesner, F&T Livestock Market in Missouri; Justin Oberling, R-CALF USA Region XI Director (Ill., Ind., and Mich.) and Adams County Livestock Buyers in Illinois; and Shane Kaczor, Bassett Livestock in Nebraska. Media panelists include Carrie Stadheim, Tri-State Livestock News; Jim Mundorf, Lonesome Lands; and Mackenzie Johnston, Cowboy Channel – RFDTV.

“Update on R-CALF USA’s Antitrust Suit Against the Big-4” by Patrick McGahan, Senior Associate Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law, LLP concludes the day’s presentations before the business meeting begins.

Following Friday’s banquet dinner will be the keynote address “Antitrust Grit: A Path Forward for Ending Anticompetitive Practices that Economically Harm America’s Ranchers” by Dr. Thomas Horton, University of South Dakota Law School. A saddle raffle and a live auction fund-raiser will follow.

To view the agenda, find hotel accommodations. or register for the event at

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