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Tag Archives: pork

Passion for putting pigs first drives swine manager of the year

By Matt Reese

As all aspects of the hog industry have evolved, Isler Genetics has changed accordingly. This incredible Marion County family tradition in the Ohio pork industry is now in the capable hands of another generation, including Nathan Isler, who is the Ohio Pork Council swine manager of the year.

“We’re working on six generations farming here. My grandfather had a little bit of everything. My Dad and uncle really grew with the hog industry. Our farm was built off of breeding stock. We’ve been a closed herd since the 70s,” Nathan said. “My Uncle Don and my Dad, Bill, built and grew the farm. Uncle Gene had a hand in it too. Dad came back in ‘68 to the farm. At that time we had Durocs, Yorks, Landrace, Hamps and large Whites. When Dad’s generation came back they started raising more breeding stock. There were maybe 50 sows before Dad and Don came back and grew it into what it is today.

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New research reveals how Americans are eating

The National Pork Board recently released the first report from its Insight to Action research program. The report, Dinner at Home in America, examines the contextual occasions in which Americans are eating dinner in the home. The research identifies areas of growth opportunity for pork, serving up a bold new challenge to the pork industry: innovate or risk losing relevance with today’s — and more importantly tomorrow’s — consumer.

“People live, shop and eat differently today. The pork industry has tremendous momentum with consumers, and that can be leveraged further through innovation in product development, bringing contemporary eating solutions to consumers,” said Jarrod Sutton, vice president of Domestic Marketing for the National Pork Board. “This research helps us intimately understand the needs and constraints that influence consumer dining choices, and provides a clear path for industry innovation that is rooted in data.”

Dinner at Home in America is the first of several reports the National Pork Board will publish in 2019 as part of the Insight to Action research program.

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U.S. pork industry ends 2018 with major antibiotic progress

America’s 60,000 pig farmers and their veterinarians are ending 2018 with recognition of their diligence to use medically important antibiotics in a strictly responsible way. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s newly published Annual Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals cites 2017 data that shows a 33% decline in this most critical class of antibiotics intended for use in food animals. When added to the decline found in the 2016 data, it confirms a reduction of 43% in this class of antibiotics from the 2015 level.

“This report is another indicator of the hard work that my fellow pig farmers have been doing to reduce the need for antibiotics. We continue to work closely with our veterinarians to ensure that we use antibiotics responsibly and according to FDA-approved labels,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board President a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “We’re committed to using antibiotics in a strategic way that focuses on animal health and well-being, as well as to protecting overall public health.”

Veterinarian Dave Pyburn, senior vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board, says that while the new report is not a perfect estimate of antibiotic use at the farm level, it clearly shows a downward trend in antibiotic use intended for food animals.

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USDA launches second round of trade mitigation payments

At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week launched the second and final round of trade mitigation payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of certain commodities will now be eligible to receive Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for the second half of their 2018 production.

“The President reaffirmed his support for American farmers and ranchers and made good on his promise, authorizing the second round of payments to be made in short order. While there have been positive movements on the trade front, American farmers are continuing to experience losses due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. This assistance will help with short-term cash flow issues as we move into the new year,” Perdue said.

Secretary Perdue announced in July that USDA would act to aid farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation.

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North Carolina’s Smithfield lawsuits: Could Ohio’s farmers face similar results?

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Over the last several months, three nuisance cases have been decided against Smithfield Foods in federal court in North Carolina. The juries in the cases have found Smithfield’s large farms, with thousands of hogs, and the odor, traffic, and flies that come along with them, to be a nuisance to neighboring landowners. Smithfield has been ordered to pay hefty damages to the neighbors, and more cases against the company remain to be decided. Given the outcomes of the cases that have been decided thus far, farmers and landowners in Ohio might be wondering how Ohio law compares to North Carolina law as pertains to agricultural nuisances.

 

Ohio’s right-to-farm law

Many states, including both Ohio and North Carolina, have “right-to-farm” legislation, which in part is meant to protect agriculture from nuisance lawsuits such as those filed against Smithfield.

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African Swine Fever brings destruction, possible market opportunity

By Joel Penhorwood, Ohio Ag Net

African Swine Fever is in the midst of causing global trouble and all signs point to it likely heading to the United States soon. The hog industry is keeping a close eye on the disease’s next move.

What exactly is African Swine Fever (AFS)? As defined in Hungerford’s ­Diseases of Livestock it is: “A highly contagious fatal disease of pigs with a great propensity for international spread (Geering and Forman, 1987). It is caused by a DNA virus which is very resistant, can survive in blood at 4 degrees C for 18 months, in frozen carcasses for several years, and in uncanned hams for up to six months. It affects all classes of pigs and warthogs.”

Though AFS does not affect humans, it poses considerable risk to the wellbeing of the swine industry with all hogs contracting the disease requiring termination.

“When it comes to global issues right now, that is something that could be very devastating in the pork industry in the United States.

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National Pork Board and U.S. Meat Export Federation to partner on Pork 2040

The National Pork Board, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they will engage in a foresight-based marketing study called Pork 2040. The study will investigate changing consumer attitudes and trends in developed and emerging U.S. pork export markets in 17 defined countries.

“Previous international marketing studies centered only on quantitative statistics to define demand, production and market access,” said Bill Luckey, chair of the Checkoff’s International Marketing committee and a pork producer from Columbus, Nebraska. “This unique effort will be more comprehensive, investigating the relevant qualitative factors that shape consumer opinion and hence markets. The study will focus on forecasting the pork and pork-product demand landscape over the next several decades to help determine where best to invest our limited Checkoff resources.”

In addition to analyzing linear consumer trends, the Pork 2040 research will assess trends in the development of new production and marketing technologies, as well as in growing environmental concerns and in emerging legal, trade and regulatory regimes around the globe.

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California voters approve Prop 12

On Election Day California voters approved Proposition 12, an initiative that, starting in 2020, bans the sale of pork and veal from animals raised anywhere in the country in housing the state banned through a 2008 ballot initiative. (In 2010, the California Legislature banned the sale of eggs from hens housed in so-called battery cages regardless of where they are raised.)

Prop. 12 also requires egg-laying hens in the state to be cage free. National Pork Producers Council, which strongly opposed it, maintains that the initiative violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause and that it will be costly for farmers and consumers. The organization is supporting federal legislation that would prohibit states from regulating agricultural production practices outside their borders and is backing lawsuits — now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court — filed by attorneys general from nearly two dozen states against California’s egg sales ban and a 2016 Massachusetts ballot measure that banned the sale of eggs, pork and veal from animals raised in housing prohibited by the same measure.

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Commodity leaders join forces on sustainability research

The National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers. This research program will include the sharing of completed research, coordination on current and planned research and define ways to share and communicate results with each organization’s members.

Leadership from the three commodity groups agree that it is prudent to consider specific ways in which they might work together more effectively to ensure alignment and collaboration in sustainability research and how the results can and will be communicated and shared.

“Sustainability is defined by the We Care ethical principles pork producers established over 10 years ago,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board President, a pig farmer from South Dakota. “Joining in the efforts of two other organizations, as a collective group, we can more effectively spend producer dollars to achieve the goals we can all believe in and support.

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U.S. beef exports remain solid while pork exports still face challenges

U.S. beef exports remained very strong in September while pork exports continued to be impacted by retaliatory duties in China and Mexico, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports cooled from the record results posted in August, but were still significantly higher year-over-year. Pork muscle cut exports improved over last September’s volume, but were offset by sharply lower shipments of pork variety meat.

September beef exports totaled 110,160 metric tons (mt), up 6% from a year ago, valued at $687.1 million — up 11%. For January through September, beef exports were just over 1 million mt, up 9% from a year ago, while value surged 18% to $6.2 billion. For beef muscle cuts only, the year-over-year increases were even more impressive, jumping 13% in volume (777,740 mt) and 20% in value ($5.54 billion).

Exports accounted for 13.7% of total beef production in September and 11.4% for muscle cuts only, up from 12.5% and 10.4%, respectively, a year ago.

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Trade news offers some optimism for pork producers

News on the trade front is getting better for U.S. pork producers as the Trump administration announced it wants to negotiate trade agreements with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. The National Pork Producers Council commended the administration for its ambitious trade agenda.

The administration recently updated agreements with Canada and Mexico and with South Korea that maintained the U.S. pork industry’s zero-tariff access to those important markets, three of the top five destinations for U.S. pork exports.

“We’ve got the momentum on trade headed in the right direction now,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “Producers are hurting because of retaliatory tariffs on pork, which were prompted by the administration’s efforts to realign U.S. trade policy. But producers have been patient, and now that patience is starting to pay off, particularly if we get a trade deal with Japan.”

Since Trump took office in January 2017, NPPC has been urging the White House to begin trade talks with countries in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, beginning with Japan, the U.S.

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Asian trade mission offers pork market insights

A recent trade mission to Asia by the National Pork Board International Marketing Committee built lasting relationships with international customers and elevated U.S. pork as the global protein of choice. The Pork Checkoff team toured Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau, meeting with pork processors, distributors and retailers, importers and traders, as well as in-country staff responsible for promoting U.S. pork in the region.

“Pork is the No. 1 most-consumed protein in the world, and that was obvious on this mission,” said Bill Luckey, a pork producer from Columbus, Nebraska, and chair of the Pork Checkoff’s International Marketing Committee. “As the committee allocates Pork Checkoff dollars to international marketing, it is important to see how these dollars are working today and how we might better target producer resources in emerging markets in the future.”

With U.S. pork production again breaking records in 2018, the Pork Checkoff is committed to growing pork demand both domestically and in international markets.

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New trade deal helps, but hurdles remain

The newly renegotiated trade agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico offers farmers a bit more security about markets for dairy, corn and other products, but hefty Mexican tariffs still in place hinder business, according to an agricultural trade specialist with The Ohio State University.

Under the new trade agreement, dairy farmers in the United States will have 3.75% more access to the Canadian dairy market. That means they’ll be able to sell more of their cheese, milk and other products there without those products getting taxed heavily at the Canadian border.

“Dairy farmers in Ohio should be happy,” said Ian Sheldon, an agricultural economist who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The agreement also reassures corn growers, who may have worried about not being able to sell to Mexico, a significant importer of U.S.

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KORUS trade deal update

KORUS trade deal updatePresident Trump announced that the United States and South Korea signed the revised free trade agreement between the countries. The United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)agreement, which was finalized earlier this year, was signed during the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, or KORUS, was one of several trade agreements scrutinized by the president during his 2016 election campaign. The National Pork Producers Council was pleased with the outcome of the renegotiations, with the new deal having little impact on agriculture. Most U.S. pork will continue to flow to South Korea with no tariff. (Prior to KORUS, Korean duties on U.S. chilled and frozen pork were 22.5% and 25%, respectively.) Last year, the United States shipped $475 million of pork to South Korea — a 30% increase over 2016 — making it the No. 5 U.S. pork export market.

“We are entering into a new KORUS agreement that is a better deal for the entire United States economy, including the agricultural sector.

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Pork industry focuses on feed ingredients to combat African swine fever threat

With the expansion of the current outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China, the National Pork Board, along with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are working even more closely together to help keep the United States free of ASF and all other foreign animal diseases (FADs). This includes focusing on the importation of feed ingredients, a key area of potential high risk of disease transport.

“Keeping trade-limiting foreign animal diseases, such as ASF, out of the United States is critical to pork producers,” said Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board president and a producer from Alcester, South Dakota. “We all need to improve the overall level of FAD preparedness. We hope for the best, but we must prepare for the worst.”

Thanks to Checkoff-funded research conducted after the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), swine industry experts now have some peer-reviewed science to rely on when looking at ways to mitigate the current risk posed by ASF in China and other countries.

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Farm groups respond to trade aid package

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details of its $12 billion aid package to help offset the impact of tariffs, which includes a Market Facilitation Program that will make payments to producers of seven farm commodities for the 2018 crop. The program also includes an increase of USDA purchases of various impacted U.S. agricultural products, and a Trade Promotion Program to develop foreign markets for American agricultural exports.

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) welcomes the support from the Trump Administration and details of the how that support will be distributed, while also reiterating the need for a long-term solution that opens export markets.

“We’re pleased to see the details of the aid package released in a timely manner so there can be some certainty for farmers moving into the harvest season,” said Allen Armstrong, OSA president and Clark Co. soybean farmer. “However, this is a short-term fix and we continue to advocate for free and open markets with our national affiliate, the American Soybean Association, and for a resolution to the trade dispute with our biggest international customer.”

The value of the 2018 soybean crop has been under increasing pressure ever since tariffs were imposed in early July, with prices dropping approximately $2 per bushel nationally.

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Rainy weather doesn’t bog down Rib Off

The rainy weather did nothing to hinder the quality of the incredible pork being served up at the 2018 Ohio Pork Rib Off. It was high quality across the board according to the judges for the 22nd annual Pork Rib Off competition at the Ohio State Fair on Tuesday, July 31.

Bark Bros. of Columbus was awarded Grand Champion Ribs and Reserve Champion Pulled Pork. Red Pig Inn of Ottawa was awarded Reserve Champion Ribs, while Kyptonite BBQ of Hartville was awarded Grand Champion Pulled Pork and best Soybean Oil BBQ Sauce. Hickory River Smokehouse of Tipp City took home the People’s Choice award. There were nine contestants from across the state competing in the annual event.

The competitors were scored by a group of five judges, including: Virgil Strickler, Ohio State Fair General Manager; Senator Larry Obhof; State Representative Brian Hill; Matt Reese, Ohio’s Country Journal; and Steve Reinhard, Ohio Soybean Council.

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Ohio Pork Council announces 2018 scholarship recipients

The Ohio Pork Council recently awarded seven scholarships for a total of $6,500 to students across Ohio. The Ohio Pork Council awards scholarships annually to a select group of students who have shown exemplary service to the pork industry and an interest in a career in the industry.

This year’s class of recipients include:
Kara Langenkamp, Versailles
Lea Kimley, South Charleston
Chelsea Graham, Frazeysburg
Brandon Dues, St. Henry
Grant Lloyd Kaffenbarger, New Carlisle
Cameron Vaughan, Wilmington
Abbey Werstler, Wooster

Scholarship recipient Lea Kimley was also awarded the Ohio Pork Council Women’s Scholarship for a total of $500, and the Dick Isler Scholarship for $1,000. Miss Kimley is a resident of South Charleston and currently attends The Ohio State University.

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Dairy and pork producers watching trade war closely

If the world tariff conflict continues to escalate, Ohio’s pork and dairy producers could suffer from the fallout.

Exports of soybeans, which have already been targeted with tariffs, are critical to Ohio, but pork and dairy products play a role in the state’s economy as well.

Earlier this month, Mexican authorities set tariffs on U.S. imports including a 20% tariff on pork and 25% on some cheese products. China too has targeted pork imports with a tariff of 25%. In Ohio, pork is the sixth highest agricultural export; dairy is the eighth.

Any cut in demand for pork will likely decrease demand for corn and soybeans because both crops are used to feed pigs, said Ian Sheldon, an agricultural economist, who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University (CFAES.)

“That’s why the Mexican government did it,” Sheldon said.

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FMD language in Senate Agriculture Panel’s Farm Bill

The National Pork Producers Council was encouraged that the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry included in its 2018 Farm Bill language establishing a vaccine bank to deal with an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD).

FMD is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep; it is not a food safety or human health threat. Although the disease was last detected in the United States in 1929, it is endemic in many parts of the world.

Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said the agriculture panel will mark up its bill June 13. The full House is expected to vote on its measure, which also includes FMD language, June 22.

“This is encouraging news for the livestock industry,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio, and chairman of NPPC’s Farm Bill Policy Task Force. “With a vaccine bank, we’ll finally be able to adequately prepare for an FMD outbreak.

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