03 AUG

More than one-third of US Representatives urge EPA to waive ethanol mandate; Poultry industry hails

As the worst drought in a half century continues, a bipartisan group of 156 members of Congress is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act immediately to reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate to account for the severe anticipated corn shortage.

Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Steve Womack (R-AR) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC) are spearheading the plea to the EPA because "another short corn crop would be devastating to the animal agriculture industry, food manufacturers, foodservice providers and consumers," according to the letter. The letter urged prompt action by the EPA to help ease short corn supply concerns that would save jobs across many U.S. industries and keep families fed. "We strongly urge you to exercise your authority and take the necessary steps to protect American consumers and the economy," the representatives wrote. Read More

03 AUG

Opinion: Corn for Food, Not Fuel


IT is not often that a stroke of a pen can quickly undo the ravages of nature, but federal regulators now have an opportunity to do just that. Americans’ food budgets will be hit hard by the ongoing Midwestern drought, the worst since 1956. Food bills will rise and many farmers will go bust. An act of God, right? Well, the drought itself may be, but a human remedy for some of the fallout is at hand – if only the federal authorities would act. By suspending renewable-fuel standards that were unwise from the start, the Environmental Protection Agency could divert vast amounts of corn from inefficient ethanol production back into the food chain, where market forces and common sense dictate it should go.Read More

Colin A. Carter is a professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis. Henry I. Miller, a physician, is a fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at the Hoover Institution.
03 AUG

Corn shortage and California

Insight: Capital Public Radio
Corn Shortage & California: The devastating drought in the Midwest is having a mixed effect on California farmers. Corn producers in the Golden State, whose crops are being herald as better than usual, are benefiting from a spike in the price of the crop, which is being driven up by a bidding war between ethanol producers and feed dealers. But California cattle ranchers and poultry farmers are struggling to pay the increasing price for feed and some smaller farmers may have be forced out of business. Here to explain the Midwest drought’s effects on California is Colin Carter, Director of the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics at UC Davis; Paul Sanguinetti, a California corn farmer; and Bill Mattos, President of the California Poultry Federation. Click here to go to an audio link of the radio broadcast.

01 AUG

Livestock and poultry coalition urges waiver of RFS because of drought

As drought conditions become the worst in 50 years and corn yields are expected to drop significantly, a coalition of meat and poultry organizations today asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to waive the federal mandate for the production of corn ethanol."  In a petition delivered to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the coalition asked for a waiver "in whole or in substantial part" of the amount of renewable fuel that must be produced under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for the remainder of this year and for the portion of 2013 that is one year from the time the waiver becomes effective. The RFS requires 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol to be produced in 2012 and 13.8 billion gallons in 2013, amounts that will use about 4.7 billion and 4.9 billion bushels, respectively, of the nation’s corn. Some agricultural forecasters now are estimating that just 11.8 billion bushels of corn will be harvested this year – about 13 billion were harvested in 2011 – meaning corn-ethanol production will use about four of every 10 bushels.  Read More 

01 AUG

Livestock producers petition EPA to waive corn-ethanol mandate

A group of livestock producers filed a petition Monday with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting a one-year waiver from a corn-ethanol rule they say is raising food prices. At issue is the EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS), which requires 15 billion gallons of domestic corn ethanol to be blended into the nation’s motor fuel supply by 2022, with a 2012 target of 13.2 billion gallons.  

The group says the law coupled with a nationwide drought will make it harder for them to procure enough corn to feed all their livestock. In a call with reporters on Monday, representatives of the livestock industry warned that the increased demand for corn will drive up beef, poultry and pork prices. Read More

31 JUL

Ground broken on new Foster Farms poultry education facility

Ground was broken July 27 at Fresno State on the innovative Foster Farms Poultry Education and Research Facility, which is scheduled to open in the spring 2013, semester. This state-of-the-art educational facility is made possible by a generous gift to Fresno State from Foster Farms, which is contributing to the engineering, design and construction as well as providing ongoing program support.

The 16,000 square-foot building will house an eco-friendly research and training center that replicates professional poultry production for students and faculty in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The new unit will have advanced temperature control and monitoring systems, along with ultra-efficient LED lighting optimized for poultry production.  Read More 

Click here for TV news coverage.

Groundbreaking ceremony Friday, July 27 of new
Foster Farms Poultry and Education and Research Facility


27 JUL

USPOULTRY releases “Poultry & The Hormone Myth” video

One of the most common…and frustrating…questions for U.S. poultry producers is why hormones are used to produce today’s poultry products. Of course, the actual answer is NO hormones are used. To address this continuing misinformation, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has prepared a new video to explain the scientific, economic and legal reasons hormones are not needed or used by the U.S. poultry industry. "USPOULTRY and our members recognize that often consumers have questions or concerns, and we must clearly communicate how we raise our birds," said Paul Pressley, vice president of industry programs for USPOULTRY. Read More

25 JUL

CPF welcomes new allied member DiBubuo & DeFendis

DiBubuo & DeFendis has been serving the insurance and risk management needs of the agricultural community for over fifty years. Our highly trained staff will assist California Poultry Federation members with their health, property, farm & general liability, auto & truck fleets, animal mortality, and workers compensation insurance programs. DiBuduo & DeFendis is ranked in the top fifty of all independent insurance agencies in the United States.

For assistance please call Bob Taylor @ 209-557-2759 or email rtaylor@dibu.com

20 JUL

Thoughts about industry meetings and conferences

Bill Mattos, President

California Poultry Federation


The California Poultry Federation hosts members, guests and allied colleagues at our Annual Meeting and Conference in September each year, and again this year our event (Sept. 13-14) is surrounded by water at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in Monterey, CA, one of the most inspiring and beautiful areas of the world. CPF members love it in Monterey, and from the attendance of allied companies across America, they do too. But today, while I may talk a little bit about our speakers and conference program, my main reason for writing is to highlight the importance of these annual meetings for every state poultry industry group.

These meetings are a time when our member companies can set aside their competition for consumers and spend time in meetings and receptions to discuss politics, regulations, animal welfare, processing and other areas where we can find ways to improve our industry and move it forward. That is certainly the goal of the CPF and its member companies. I was hired 22 years ago, and although most of the board has changed somewhat, the men and women who set our policy still tell me that "our meetings aren’t held for partying, but to improve our companies and find ways to make us all profitable."

That direction still sits at the top of our mission and our long term strategy and goals, and I think many states have that same objective. Companies want to find ways to improve, while also coming together to educate and lobby our elected leaders and regulatory agencies, whether they are in our own state or in Washington, DC. Our annual meetings give us the opportunity to meet state and federal officials, the very people who make decisions that affect us directly. We want to get to know them, and we hope they want to get to know every one of us as well. We invite politicians as well as political writers and regulatory officials to give us their perspective on what is happening in their world. Then, during our breaks and receptions, we find time to further discuss how what they do affects the industry. Sometimes we thank them and many times we argue for fairness and common sense. We hope our interaction helps, and we know it’s important.

This year Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, the recently named Assistant Administrator of the USDA FSIS Office of Field Operations, will talk about his new work and his unique challenges; and we have already asked him to come prepared to update us on the changes we hope to see with some rules and regulations coming out of the FSIS. Dr. Engeljohn always listens, and our work with him over the years has been remarkable. We are excited that he will join us this year.

Political writer Dan Walters is returning again this year, and he is one of the most informed and keen writers on politics in California. Based in Sacramento with McClatchy "Bee" newspapers, Walters is by far one of the best political writers in the state.

National Chicken Council’s Vice President of Communications Tom Super will update our group on his latest efforts to bring sanity to the media and what he and other agricultural associations are doing to spread accurate messages to both consumers and Washington, DC politicians. Super brings 13 years of combined experience in strategic communications, public policy, politics and meat and poultry issues management to NCC’s senior management team. He is responsible for day-to-day media relations, media outreach, social media management and strategic communications planning to supplement the National Chicken Council’s legislative, regulatory, consumer education and marketing efforts.

Sherrie Rosenblatt, communications director for the National Turkey Federation has made similar presentations to our group, energizing us on the new directions we may be able to include in our local marketing and communications efforts.

Annual meetings make lots of sense for all of us in the poultry association community, and they bring us closer to the people who can sometimes make or break our industry. The more we come together the more we learn from each other; we hope this turns into higher profits and a growing industry.

Click here for the CPF Annual Conference registration form. Make sure to take a look at the deadlines for hotel reservations and Conference registration fees. And, look for more information later this month in the mail and on the CPF website.

Bill's Signature

19 JUL

Study supports need to reform ethanol production mandate

In response to a new economic study on the impact of corn ethanol production on food prices and commodity price volatility, a coalition of livestock and poultry groups is urging Congress to reform the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates the amount of ethanol that must be produced annually. 

Conducted by Thomas Elam, Ph.D., president of FarmEcon LLC, an Indiana agricultural and food industry consulting firm, the study found that federal ethanol policy has increased and destabilized corn, soybean and wheat prices to the detriment of food and fuel producers and consumers. Read More

A full copy of the study is available by clicking here

An infographic summarizing the study’s findings can be downloaded by clicking here.