Thursday, January 6, 2022

Thursday January 6 Ag News

 LEAD Fellowship applications available for group 41

Fellowship applications for Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education/Action Development) Group 41 are now available for men and women involved in production agriculture or agribusiness.

“Up to 30 motivated men and women with demonstrated leadership potential will be selected from five geographic districts across our state,” said Terry Hejny, Nebraska LEAD Program director.  

“In order to uphold the integrity and the mission of LEAD, our board of directors has adopted policy that will help ensure the safety of our LEAD participants and all of those associated with the program during this global pandemic."  

In addition to monthly three-day seminars throughout Nebraska from mid-September through early April each year, Nebraska LEAD Fellows also participate in a 10-day national study/travel seminar and a two-week international study/travel seminar.

Seminar themes include leadership assessment and potential, natural resources and energy, agricultural policy, leadership through communication, Nebraska’s political process, global perspectives, nuclear energy, social issues, understanding and developing leadership skills, agribusiness and marketing, advances in health care and the resources and people of Nebraska’s Panhandle, says Hejny.

The Nebraska LEAD Program is designed to prepare the spokespersons, problem-solvers and decision makers for Nebraska and its agricultural industry.  

Applications are due no later than June 15 and are available via e-mail from the Nebraska LEAD Program. Please contact the Nebraska LEAD Program office at  You may also request an application by writing to 104 ACB, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 68583-0940 or by calling (402) 472-6810. You can visit for information about the selection process.

In its 41st year, the program is operated by the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, a nonprofit organization, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and in cooperation with Nebraska colleges and universities, business and industry, and individuals throughout the state.


Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge wraps up third year  

Nebraska 4-H, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science, offered the third year of the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge in 2021.  

The Fed Steer Challenge cultivates the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry by providing youth opportunities. This challenge enhances the educational value of traditional   4-H beef projects and provides affordable options to reward production merit and market animal carcass value; accurate and complete record keeping practices; industry and research knowledge; and producer engagement with the 4-H member.  

The program has seen positive participant outcomes, engaging 25 youth from 19 different Nebraska counties. These youth selected, purchased, exhibited, harvested, and analyzed carcass data on a steer while networking with industry professionals. Additionally, working as a learning cohort, they participated in monthly educational opportunities led by industry professionals and Animal Science faculty.  

“I found it valuable to interact with other cattlemen. I interacted with different cattlemen and woman through the state. I also learned what to do different next time I feed a market animal for profit.” said one participant.  

“I have learned a lot about feeding and what each ingredient is doing for my animal.”

Alongside these youth, large crowds at the Nebraska State Fair receive expert instruction from a commercial cattle buyer about sorting and evaluating steers. This exemplifies real-world industry standards of carcass merit, grade-ability, and finish. Unanimously, the youth participants agree the Fed Steer Challenge helped them gain valuable knowledge regarding the beef industry - namely, how to feed a market animal more efficiently. Because of their program involvement, these youth plan to stay in the cattle industry to become future beef industry advocates.

The 2021 Nebraska participants included: Lacey Schmidt (Thayer County), Lydia Fitzke (Adams County), Kale Smydra (Howard County), Callee Carman (Buffalo County), Donald Rohr (Frontier County), Nickolas Rohr (Frontier County), Alexa Tollman (Dawes County), Emily Miller (Cheyenne County), Conner Snyder (Frontier County), Skyler Summers (Buffalo County), Noah Summers (Buffalo County), Parker Walahoski (Dawson County), and Christien Kuykendall (Red Willow County).  

Winners in each category were:  
Growth Performance:  
    First Place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County
    Second Place: Nickolas Rohr, Frontier County
    Third Place: Skylar Summers, Buffalo County

Record Book:  
    First Place: Kale Smydra, Howard County
    Second Place: Conner Snyder, Frontier County
    Third Place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County

Interview/Showcase Presentation:
    First Place: Noah Summers, Buffalo County
    Second Place: Lacey Schmidt, Thayer County
    Third Place: Parker Walahoski, Dawson County

State Fair:
    First Place: Alexa Tollman, Dawes County
    Second Place: Noah Summers, Buffalo County
    Third Place: Skylar Summers, Buffalo County

Overall Winners:  
    First Place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County  
    Second Place: Noah Summers, Buffalo County
    Third Place: Conner Snyder, Frontier County
    Fourth Place: Kale Smydra, Howard County
    Fifth Place: Skylar Summers, Buffalo County

The participants for 2022  Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge have recently been selected and include: Claire Ahrens (Sherman County), Lilee Chevalier (Lancaster County), Leah Christen (Pawnee County), Justice Currie (Pawnee County), Mia Gerdes (Nemaha County), Ava Gerdes (Nemaha County), Braden Gerdes (Nemaha County), Abigail Gorecki (Buffalo County), Nathan Gorecki (Buffalo County), Eldon Haack (Franklin County), Jalieigh Hallstead (Cuming County), Madison Hirschman (Howard County), Christien Kuykendall (Red Willow County), Cassidy Maricle (Boone County), Faith Miller (Dawes County), Kailey Nicklas (Kimball County), Klaira Rasmussen (Howard County), Nickolas Rohr (Frontier County), Kayla Rupe (Harlan County), Conner Snyder (Frontier County), Treygan Srajhans (Fillmore County), Noah Summers (Buffalo County), and Skylar Summers (Buffalo County).  

To learn more about the fed steer challenge, visit:

Nebraska Soybean Board to meet

The Nebraska Soybean Board will hold its next meeting on January 11, 2022 at the Holthus Convention Center located at 3130 Holen Ave., York, Nebraska.

The Board will conduct regular business and participate in strategic planning to establish goals and create specific strategies and tactics to meet those goals. The meeting is open to the public and will provide an opportunity for public discussion. The complete agenda for the meeting is available for inspection on the Nebraska Soybean Board website at


UNL to present webinar on valuing manure

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability will present a webinar on valuing manure, for both buyers and sellers, at noon on Jan. 13.

Manure has both monetary and intrinsic value — as a crop nutrient source and an organic soil amendment — but deciding what manure is worth depends on your individual situation. During this webinar, Nebraska Animal Manure Management Team leaders Leslie Johnson and Dr. Amy Schmidt will discuss factors that impact manure value, nutrient availability in different types of manure, how to calculate a value for manure, and what it means to “mind your manure manners” when using manure in your cropping system.

The webinar is presented as part of the Center for Agricultural Profitability’s weekly series, held most Thursdays at noon. Registration is free at   

Nebraska Beef Council January Board Meeting

The Nebraska Beef Council Board of Directors will meet at the NBC office in Kearney, NE located at 1319 Central Ave. on Tuesday January 18, 2022 beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST. The NBC Board of Directors will discuss NDA Foreign Marketing and election of officers. For more information, please contact Pam Esslinger at  

Saunders Co. Livestock Assoc membership meeting

Saunders County Livestock Membership Meeting will be Tuesday Jan. 18th, at the Saunders county 4-H building, Wahoo.  There's a 6:30pm social and 7:00pm dinner. Members are encouraged to pay their dues & purchase upcoming banquet tickets.  See you there!

Scoular CEO Paul Maass appointed to Omaha Branch Board of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City  

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System recently appointed Scoular CEO Paul Maass as a director of the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The appointment was announced on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the nation's central bank, which promotes the effective operation of the U.S. economy.
The Omaha Branch is Nebraska’s connection to the nation’s central bank through its relationships with businesses and communities across the state that have insight into local economic conditions and concerns. Seven members serve on its Board of Directors.  
“I’m honored by this appointment and the opportunity to support the Omaha Branch’s important mission,” Maass said. “The ag economy is vital to growth across Nebraska, and I look forward to working with fellow board members to foster a healthy economy in our region.”
Maass has been CEO at Scoular since 2016 and is responsible for the company’s worldwide strategic leadership. He also is a member of Scoular’s Board of Directors and has more than 30 years of experience in the agriculture and food industries.

USDA Chief Economist and Midwest Economic Expert to Share Outlook at Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

The 2022 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will dive into the economic outlook for ag and biofuels by looking not only at what is happening on a national scale but also at trends in Midwest communities.

USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer will tackle the macroeconomic trends. Meyer, an Iowa native worked for both the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the University of Missouri’s Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) prior to being named chief economist in 2020.

Ernie Goss, the Jack MacAllister Chair in Economics at Creighton University, will provide a glimpse into what is happening at the community level across rural America. Goss is also the editor of the newsletter Economic Trends, produces a monthly business conditions index for the nine-state Mid-American region, and conducts a survey of bank CEOs in 10 U.S. states. The index and survey results are regularly cited by hundreds of newspaper and radio stations across the country.

“With this duo of economic experts, Summit attendees will get a well-rounded look at what is on the horizon for ag and biofuels markets,” said Lisa Coffelt, IRFA marketing director. “By looking at national and Midwest community trends they can go deeper and help attendees understand the various factors shaping our economic future.”

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit is taking place on January 25 at the Community Choice Convention Center at the Iowa Events Center. Attendance is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register to attend and learn more, visit

Artisanal Butchery Task Force Makes Recommendations to Legislature

The Artisanal Butchery Task Force, led by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, today released its final report to the Legislature detailing a plan to help address workforce challenges at Iowa meat lockers.

“Like many businesses, lockers and community meat processors are facing significant workforce shortages which have only been compounded since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020,” said Secretary Naig. “This labor shortage comes at a time when meat processors are experiencing increased demand for the high-quality products and services they offer at a time when supply chains are strained.”

The task force, created during the 2021 legislative session, was charged with exploring the feasibility of establishing an artisanal butchery program at a community college or at a Regent institution. The task force was to consider several aspects of a potential program, including staffing and equipment requirements, potential enrollment numbers, overall employment outlook for graduates, apprenticeship and internship opportunities, program costs, curriculum, and regulatory and legal requirements.

Following three meetings over the fall of 2021 and stakeholder outreach, the task force recommends the creation of a one-year artisanal butchery certificate program offered through Iowa’s community college system. The program would include a combination of both classroom education and first-hand, work-based learning opportunities provided directly by local meat lockers and processors. Additionally, community colleges are encouraged to leverage programs and services offered at the Iowa State University Meat Lab to provide students with even more opportunities.

In addition to the educational charge, the task force also recommends several other measures to help address workforce and regulatory challenges that lockers face, including the following:
-    Establish a tool kit for meat processing businesses to find training programs and resources
-    Create a talent pipeline by generating industry interest at the high school level
-    Explore opportunities to reduce regulatory hurdles
-    Help lockers and processors add value to their products

“I want to thank the members of the task force for their hard work over the last several months. Each one of them brought their experiences and expertise to the table and helped shape these recommendations,” added Naig. “I am confident that we have provided a roadmap to ease some of the workforce strains that the industry is facing and fill the gaps we currently have in Iowa’s educational and job training offerings.”

Pork Industry Grooms Future Leaders

The National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board have kicked off the 2022 class of Pork Leadership Institute (PLI), a jointly funded and organized training curriculum designed to develop future leaders for the U.S. pork industry.

The comprehensive, year-long program consists of five learning sessions, running from February to November. Selected participants are educated on the legislative and regulatory processes, the importance of international trade, the roles of the national pork organizations and their state pork associations, and the issues facing producers. They also are trained to be spokespeople for the pork industry and grassroots activists able to disseminate pro-active, targeted messages about the industry.

“PLI is vital to the success of pork producers because it develops knowledgeable advocates for the pork industry and, most importantly, future industry leaders,” said NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys. “PLI graduates are able to tell the pork industry’s story from Main Street to the nation’s capital. It’s a great program that every pork producer should consider participating in.”

Pork producers are nominated for PLI, with NPPC staff working closely with state pork association executives and field representatives to identify key individuals. Each year about 15-20 producers are selected to participate in the program. The following producers are in the PLI class of 2022:
    Alexandra Kraber – IA
    Mark Schleisman – IA
    Jason Foster – SD

    Katie Beckman – UT
    Carl Brehe – MO
    Jill Brokaw – IL
    Heidi Flory – PA
    John Giefer – MN
    Jerry Hairr – NC
    John Wesley Hairr – NC
    Phillip Hord – OH
    Jarred Lorenz – MI
    Lauren Nagel – IN
    Nick Seger – OH
    Jon Tangen – OK
    Jared Teuscher – ID
    Ismael Villalobos – OK
    Morgan Wonderly – CA

For more information about PLI and to express interest in attending the program, contact your state pork association executive or NPPC’s Janine Van Vark, at

USDA Dairy Products November 2021 Production Highlights

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.12 billion pounds, 1.6 percent above November 2020 but 2.9 percent below October 2021. Italian type cheese production totaled 483 million pounds, 6.2 percent above November 2020 but 1.3 percent below October 2021. American type cheese production totaled 438 million pounds, 2.7 percent below November 2020 and 4.6 percent below October 2021. Butter production was 156 million pounds, 9.6 percent below November 2020 and 3.0 percent below October 2021.

Dry milk products (comparisons in percentage with November 2020)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 132 million pounds, down 15.0 percent.
Skim milk powder - 49.1 million pounds, down 24.5 percent.

Whey products (comparisons in percentage with November 2020)
Dry whey, total - 74.6 million pounds, up 8.7 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 92.4 million pounds, up 8.0 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 46.2 million pounds, up 17.6 percent.

Frozen products (comparisons in percentage with November 2020)
Ice cream, regular (hard) - 53.9 million gallons, down 1.7 percent.
Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 29.5 million gallons, down 11.4 percent.
Sherbet (hard) - 1.90 million gallons, down 17.2 percent.
Frozen yogurt (total) - 1.94 million gallons, down 8.8 percent.

November U.S. Ethanol Exports Leapt to Ten-Month High while U.S. DDGS Exports Moderated
Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst, Renewable Fules Association
U.S. ethanol exports in November ballooned to 149.4 million gallons (mg), up 43%, due in part to the largest volume of undenatured fuel ethanol exports since March 2020. Canada remained the top destination for U.S. ethanol for the eighth consecutive month with imports of 37.4 mg. Although reflective of a slight uptick from October, these exports were equivalent to the largest volumes crossing the border in over four years. Exports to Brazil expanded more than fivefold to a 20-month high of 27.1 mg. India’s imports were up 42% (19.9 mg) and equivalent to the largest volume in ten months. Shipments to the United Kingdom more than doubled to 14.3 mg, the country’s largest monthly exports of U.S. ethanol in more than nine years. Outside of those four countries, which represented two-thirds of U.S. ethanol exports in November, significant volumes landed in South Korea (10.5 mg, +54%), the Netherlands (6.8 mg, -51%), Mexico (6.2 mg, +16%), Nigeria (5.4 mg, +14%), and Peru (4.6 mg, +546%). Year-to-date shipments total 1.13 bg, or 6% less than the same period in 2020.

November was the first time in six months that the U.S. did not log foreign ethanol imports. Year-to-date U.S. ethanol imports total 58.4 mg.
U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants—eased 4% to 1.02 million metric tons (mt) despite an unprecedented volume hauled to Mexico (306,161 mt, +79%, and representing 30% of all shipments in November). Historically, this marks the largest monthly volume of U.S. DDGS exported to any country. Exports also expanded to South Korea (102,515 mt, +40%) and Ireland (54,277 mt, +138%). Although substantial markets, DDGS shipments declined to Vietnam (90,929 mt, -38%), Canada (82,533 mt, -1%), Indonesia (72,651 mt, -12%), China (58,774 mt, -4%), Japan (30,747, -37%), and Turkey (30,514 mt, -71%). Total DDGS exports through November were 10.66 million mt, which is 6% ahead of the same period in 2020.

Speaker Presentation Ideas Now Accepted for the 2022 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo

The call for speaker presentation ideas is now open for the 2022 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW). The three-day event will take place June 13-15, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“For 37 years, the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop has been the go-to forum for technical content for producers,” said Tim Portz, program director for the FEW. “Past agendas read like a Who’s Who amongst ethanol production thought leaders and we’re excited to build another world class agenda for producers in 2022.”

Now in its 38th year, the FEW is searching for expert speakers and panelists to discuss timely topics in the ethanol and advanced biofuels industries. Abstracts can be submitted for the following tracks and events.
• Track 1: Production and Operations
• Track 2: Leadership and Financial Management
• Track 3: Coproducts and Product Diversification
• Track 4: Infrastructure and Market Development
• Carbon Capture & Storage
• Sustainable Aviation Fuel
• Biodiesel & Renewable Diesel Summit

“We expect to see traditional panel topics like yeast health, innovative yeast strains, and enzyme regimens to make a strong showing this year, while also looking forward to the continued momentum of topics like predictive maintenance, data capture and use, and diversified product output,” said Portz. New to the program this year is the addition of the Carbon Capture & Storage Summit.

“Carbon capture and sequestration is arguably the biggest story in our industry in a decade and we’re excited about the opportunity to showcase the active projects underway in our co-located event,” said Portz. “Professionals working in that space should strongly consider submitting an abstract for inclusion in our Carbon Capture & Storage Summit agenda.”

Registration is free for producers of ethanol, biodiesel, advanced biofuels, biochemicals, cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.

Presentation abstracts will be accepted through February 11, 2022.  To submit an abstract or find out more about the conference, visit

Growth Accelerates at CLAAS

CLAAS, one of the world’s leading agricultural machinery manufacturers, saw an outstanding 2021 fiscal year with an increase in revenue by 19 percent to €4.798 billion (previous year: €4.042 billion). Pre-tax earnings rose to €357 million (previous year: €158 million).

“CLAAS managed to achieve growth despite the supply-side bottlenecks and the pandemic. We even registered a double-digit rise in revenue and a significant improvement in profitability across all world regions,” said Thomas Böck, chair of the CLAAS Group Executive Board.

Last year’s growth in North America and Eastern Europe has been joined by the core markets in Western and Central Europe, including Germany and France, which are important for CLAAS. The United Kingdom also experienced major growth, despite the significant uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Spending on research and development at a record level
Expenditure on research and development set a new record with €262 million (previous year: €237 million). Investments in innovative electronic architectures and the digitization of agricultural processes remained important focus areas.

Investments in fixed assets totaling €138 million (previous year: €131 million) continued at a high level. In Le Mans, the Future Factory for tractors was reopened in May following an extensive renovation.  A modernization project of even larger proportions at the combine harvester production facilities in Harsewinkel, Germany, was also finished. Over 15,000 m² of production space was completely refurbished in just five months. State-of-the-art AGV transport systems are now used in the production areas of both factories, increasing both flexibility and efficiency.

Successful product campaign
With innovative products and a strong sales team, CLAAS was able to acquire new customers and convince existing customers to stay with the company. Launched in 2019, the product campaign for harvesting technology continued with the new TRION combine series introduction throughout Europe and many other regions. The introduction adds a number of new models to the mid-range segment that is unparalleled in this combine harvester class.

There have also been significant developments in the tractor segment, where a number of new fuel saving and performance enhancing features were introduced. There was also a wealth of innovation in the forage harvesting segment, which included an extensive technical update for the QUADRANT large square baler.

Rise in the global workforce
The number of employees around the world rose over the course of the year and was 11,957 at the end of the fiscal year (previous year: 11,395). In Germany, the number rose by 3.5 percent to 5,790 (previous year: 5,596), and by 4.3 percent to 2,377 in France (previous year: 2,279). Group-wide, the number of trainees also increased to 775 (previous year: 714), of whom 473 were based in Germany (previous year: 430).

The supply situation and price development in the procurement markets present a greater risk compared to last year. Overall, the company anticipates stable demand for agricultural machinery in the most important sales regions during the 2022 fiscal year. Despite these uncertainties, CLAAS expects a rise in revenue and a slightly lower result in a year-on-year comparison.

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