13 APR

Ag Secretary Karen Ross to speak in May at CSU Stanislaus

California State University, Stanislaus’ Agricultural Studies Department is pleased to announce the spring Agricultural Studies Speaker Series with Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The event is scheduled for Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Faculty Development Center, Room 118. The lecture is free of charge. Click here for more information.

13 APR

NCC blasts vegan group’s misleading claims about supermarket chicken

The National Chicken Council released the following statement today in response to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a pseudo-medical, vegan advocacy group, and its misleading claims about supermarket chicken. Attributable to Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of science and technology:

"These findings, not a ‘peer reviewed’ study, are another misleading attempt by a pseudo-medical group to scare consumers in hopes of advancing their goal of a vegan society and to derail a USDA proposed rule to modernize the poultry inspection system. "Chicken processing plants strictly adhere to USDA’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy for visible fecal material as a food safety standard.  Through their Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs, chicken plants use a variety of measures to protect food from unintentional contamination and to reduce bacteria levels at these critical control points during the entire processing process.   In fact, when a product moves through the plant, bacteria levels are reduced many hundreds of times to a fraction of what was naturally on the bird when it arrived.  Read More

06 APR

Arsenic and Other Compounds Not Fed to Chickens

The National Chicken Council today released the following statement in response to a New York Times opinion piece, “Arsenic in our chicken,” and refuted the findings of recent studies that claim to have found certain chemical and antimicrobial residues in chicken feather meal:

“As the study’s authors point out, this study looked only at feathers, not meat.  If consumers were to take away one message from the findings, it should be from the researchers themselves: ‘We haven’t found anything that is an immediate health concern.’

“The top priority for America’s chicken farmers and processors is to raise healthy, top quality birds, because doing so is not only an ethical obligation, it is the foundation of a safe and wholesome chicken supply. Read more

03 APR

USDA “Planting Prospective” report points toward more corn

USDA "Planting Prospective" report points toward more corn; Grain stocks report may mean lower ending corn inventory   

Many crop analysts are suggesting the scenario is being set for a record corn harvest this fall with corn acreage expected to be 95.86 million acres this year, an increase of 4 percent over last year. But in the end, much depends on the weather conditions in order to achieve a record crop.  USDA’s "Prospective Plantings" report today had corn acreage 1.14 million acres above consensus expectations of analysts of 94.72 million acres.  USDA said that if 95.86 million acres of corn are planted this year, it would be second only to the 97.2 million acres in 1937.  Apparently, some of the increase in corn acres will come at the expense of acres for soybeans this spring.  Soybean plantings are estimated to be 73.9 million acres, 1.4 percent below the 74.98 million acres last year and 1.49 million acres under analysts’ consensus of 75.39 million acres. Read More

03 APR

Nobody Minds Dyeing the Egg, but the Chicken Is Another Story

If only they were, nobody would have a problem with newborn chicks that are dyed in brilliant colors — neon, Fruity Pebbles, pastel, Crayola box — to serve as festive Easter gifts. The dye is either injected in the incubating egg or sprayed on the hatchling, and while poultry farmers say it is harmless, many people object, saying it turns live birds into holiday playthings that are quickly discarded. Read more

03 APR

Last chance to order Cal Ag license plates

The April 6th application deadline to obtain a specialized California Ag Plate is quickly approaching. Ag Council encourages members and friends to show their support for agricultural education in California by purchasing a specialized Cal Ag License Plate. Click here for the online form to order a Cal Ag License Plate now.  To read answers to frequently asked questions about the program, click here.

The majority of the funds for the special plates will go toward agricultural education, agricultural career awareness and training, and youth leadership development in California. Read More

30 MAR

Biosecurity panel reconvenes to reexamine controversial bird flu studies

A bid from some quarters in the U.S. to resolve the ongoing controversy over two unpublished bird flu studies will begin to play out over the next two days as government biosecurity advisers reconvene to reconsider the issue. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity will meet Thursday and Friday in Washington, D.C., to go over revised versions of the two studies and hear about the work from their principal authors, noted flu virologists Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Then the group will have to decide whether to advise the U.S. government to withdraw its objection to full publication of the papers, continue to press for publication in abbreviated form or suggest the studies should not be published at all. Read More

29 MAR

SF legislator makes valley farming a priority

At last report, San Francisco had just three acres in agriculture, most of it nursery plants. But the city has produced a state lawmaker with a strong interest in the farming that goes on around Modesto and beyond. Democrat Fiona Ma serves on the Assembly Agriculture Committee. She often deals with people from farming regions whose politics tend to be more conservative than hers. Ma nonetheless has cultivated respect from these colleagues, by visiting farms and food processors, and asking a lot of questions. "For a legislator from San Francisco, she has been a pretty solid vote for agriculture," said committee colleague Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres. Read More

28 MAR

Announcing National Turkey Federation New Recipe Photo Contest!

Recipe: Turkey and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to put away those recipes for soups and stews and start thinking about lighter fare. The advent of spring also means fresh fruits and vegetables are more readily available. For example, NTF’s Turkey and Broccoli Stir-Fry recipe is a healthful dish that includes some of the season’s freshest ingredients. Experimenting with new turkey ideas and a variety of vegetables opens up many culinary possibilities.

Prepare this recipe between now and June 8, snap a picture of it, and send the photo to info@turkeyfed.org and you could win an Indoor Butterball Turkey Fryer!

Photos will be judged based on originality, creative composition and overall eye appeal.

All submissions must be received by 11:59 ET on June 8, 2012.

Official Rules and Regulations are available here.

28 MAR

Salmonella from mail-order hatcheries an ongoing concern

Please sign here for your order of … Salmonella? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35 Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to contact with live poultry from mail-order hatcheries since 1990. Just last summer, two clusters of Salmonella infections sickened almost 100 people in 24 states. One serotype, Salmonella Altona, struck 68 individuals, of whom 32 percent were 5 years old or younger. The other strain – Salmonella Johannesburg, caused 28 illnesses, 71 percent of which were in children 5 and under.
"These outbreaks highlight the ongoing risk for human Salmonella infections associated with live poultry contact, especially for young children," said a CDC report this week. Read More