26 DEC

Hong Kong culls thousands of birds after virus found in chicken

Health workers here began slaughtering more than 17,000 chickens on Wednesday after a carcass infected with bird flu was found at a poultry market, government officials said. It was the first large-scale culling in three years. The cull was part of a series of precautionary steps being taken after the chicken carcass was found to have a "highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus," York Chow, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, said in a statement. Hong Kong officials also raised the territory’s bird flu alert to "serious," increasing monitoring for influenza at hospitals and closed the market where the carcass was discovered until Jan. 12.  Read More  

21 DEC

USDA delays implementation of poultry product labeling regulations

The Food Safety and Inspection Service is delaying the effective date of the final regulations that require nutrition labeling of the major cuts of single-ingredient, raw meat and poultry products and ground or chopped meat and poultry products that were published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2010.

The original effective date of these regulations was January 1, 2012; the new date is March 1, 2012. The FSIS is taking this action in response to a request from eight trade associations, which requested that the FSIS exercise enforcement discretion for a six-month period following the January 1, 2012, effective date of the final rule. However, the FSIS has concluded that a two-month delay in the effective date will allow the industry sufficient time to comply with the requirements of the final rule.

21 DEC

CSU Fresno receives $7000 USPOULTRY Foundation grant

California State University, Fresno, recently received a $7,000 student recruiting grant from the USPOULTRY Foundation. The check was presented by Richie King, Vice President of Chicken Plant Operations, Foster Farms, and USPOULTRY board member, to Dr. Michelle Ganci, Lecturer, Poultry Instructor and Internship Coordinator, Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education Department, California State University, Fresno.

"The funding provided by USPOULTRY will help support a number of educational programs at Fresno State," said Dr. Charles Boyer, Dean, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, California State University, Fresno. "The support provides partial funding for supplies and educational materials for the FFA State judging contest including bird cages and egg candlers, as well as lab coats for the poultry inspections we do. In addition, research supplies for a few student projects will be provided by the gift."


21 DEC

Marlene Busick retires after 34 years at the national NPIP office


The National Poultry Improvement Plan is certainly one of the most important poultry health programs in the world, and over the years we have been fortunate to have program leaders at the National office who were not only very competent in their work, but passionate about their jobs. A year ago Andy Rhorer retired from the NPIP after a glorious career working with many of us across the United States. And last week his long time assistant and NPIP employee, Marlene Busick, enjoyed a retirement/Christmas party in Georgia. While we could not make the trip to the South, we celebrated with her from our Modesto offices; and all of our California members wish Marlene a wonderful, productive retirement. I’ve been doing this job for more than 20 years, and Marlene has always been the go-to person when our office had questions and concerns. Of course, Andy was always available as well, but they made a great team. Marlene knows the NPIP rules and regulations as good as anyone I know, and she is a resource that all of us have been lucky and excited to use over the years. We will miss her. The NPIP is in competent hands with Dr. C. Steven Roney and Penny Kesler, both trained by Andy and Marlene, and prepared to move the NPIP on into 2012. From California to New York we have challenges with poultry health. The USDA APHIS Cooperative Agreements have assisted every NPIP office and state poultry companies with a surveillance and monitoring program second-to-none. It continues to be a gem in our state, and we have the cooperation of 100 percent of the chicken and turkey companies, and 95 percent of the layer industry. There is no question that we will miss Marlene in 2012, but she leaves a legacy and enduring presence here in our California offices; and we admire her for the many years of service to poultry men and women throughout the United States.

     The California NPIP office is managed by Monica Della Maggiore who accepted the position 9 years ago when long-time employee Doris Pokorny retired. While the California Poultry Federation is focused on legislative and regulatory issues in our state and the nation, the NPIP program is also one of our most important programs. If we are successful, the benefit is healthy birds!

16 DEC

Renewable Fuels Association spends $259K in 3Q to lobby on ethanol subsidies, other issues

The Renewable Fuels Association spent nearly $259,000 in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on ethanol tax incentives and other issues, according to a disclosure report. That’s up from the $213,000 the trade group spent a year earlier and the $251,000 than it spent in this year’s second quarter, according to reports it filed with the House clerk’s office.   Read More 

16 DEC

The cellulosic ethanol debacle

Years before the Obama Administration dumped $70 billion into solar and wind energy and battery operated cars, and long before anyone heard of Solyndra, President Bush launched his own version of a green energy revolution. The future he saw was biofuels. In addition to showering billions of dollars on corn ethanol, Mr. Bush assured the nation that by 2012 cars and trucks could be powered by cellulosic fuels from switch grass and other plant life. To launch this wonder-fuel industry, the feds under Mr. Bush and President Obama have pumped at least $1.5 billion of grants and loan subsidies to fledgling producers. Mr. Bush signed an energy bill in 2007 that established a tax credit of $1.01 per gallon produced.  Read More

09 DEC

Update from Bill Mattos

Bill Mattos is in Washington D.C. this week talking to elected officials about ethanol and other issues. Click here to read a letter sent today to all the energy staff in Senate that voted for the amendment authored by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Tom Coburn, and was adopted in June by a vote of 73-27, to end longstanding ethanol subsidies.

07 DEC

December issues of CDFA Animal Health Branch newsletter and CAHFS newsletter available here

The CDFA Animal Health Branch is California’s organized, professional veterinary medical unit that protects livestock populations, consumers and the State’s economy from catastrophic animal diseases and other health or agricultural problems. Click here to read the December issue of the AHB newsletter, which contains stories of interest to the poultry industry. The newest issue of CAHFS Connection, the newsletter published by the state lab system, is available here.

02 DEC

Livestock, poultry industries boost U.S. economy

The soybean checkoff talks a lot about U.S. soybean farmers’ No. 1 customers – poultry and livestock farmers. But these sectors impact more than just a soybean farmer’s profit potential. According to a recent soybean-checkoff-funded study, poultry and livestock supported 1.8 million U.S. jobs and added $19 billion in tax revenue annually to the U.S. economy. Read More