21 DEC

10 food trends that will shape 2018

The year 2017 goes down in history as the most important ever in grocery. The food world around us is changing at incredible speed, and the industry must evolve. Grocery, now “cool,” is an industry that is attracting talent from the best schools and companies who would not even have thought about a career in grocery or food a few years ago (let alone raising millions for their own food startups).

Grocery retailers like Hy-Vee have created a new environment, both physically and intellectually, that these thought leaders of tomorrow want to be a part of. Consumer packaged goods companies are creating incubators that attract startups to help these brands understand how to become relevant to a new kind of consumer and offer them looks at innovations that they have never dreamed about.

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21 DEC

2018 IPPE surpasses 520,000 square feet

With two months remaining until the trade show, the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) has surpassed 520,000 square feet of exhibit space and has secured 1,200 exhibitors. There will be virtually every type of exhibitor present at IPPE, ensuring attendees’ needs are met. The Expo anticipates more than 30,000 attendees through the collaboration of the three trade shows – International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo – representing the entire chain of protein and feed production and processing. IPPE will be held Tuesday through Thursday, 30 January – 1 February 2018, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga.  Read more

21 DEC

Republican tax bill in final sprint across finish line

The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles – sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals – but diverged on several crucial details.

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21 DEC

The USDA rolled back protections for small farmers. Now they’re suing

An organization representing the interests of small farmers across rural America fired a legal salvo Thursday aimed at a Trump administration they feel has let them down.  The lawsuit, filed by the Organization for Competitive Markets, a small farmers’ think tank based in Lincoln, Neb., and three farmer plaintiffs, did not shake the halls of Congress. Nor will it go viral on social media. But to the 40,000 contract poultry farmers, 900,000 cattle ranchers, and 70,000 hog farmers in America’s heartland whose interests it seeks to represent, the lawsuit represents the tip of an iceberg of financial and emotional despair.

At issue is the Trump administration’s withdrawal of two Obama-era rules designed to protect small farmers who say they are being exploited by the meatpacking companies they supply. Read more

21 DEC

Our top moments of 2017 and a look ahead: HSUS

More than 700 million chickens will have a more comfortable life thanks to our work with Perdue. The country’s fourth-largest poultry producer announced a series of reforms in June, including adding natural light to chicken houses, increasing space, providing enrichments like hay bales and perches and switching to a more humane slaughter method. They’ll also start using healthier breeds instead of quick-growing birds who spend their days in pain. We’ve improved the lives of the 9 billion chickens raised and killed for meat in the United States each year by persuading major food companies to give birds more space, add environmental enrichments, use healthier breeds and switch to less cruel slaughter methods.
In 2018, we want to give egg-laying chickens, calves raised for veal and mother pigs better lives by passing a ballot measure in California that eliminates the caged confinement of these animals when raised in the state or used for products sold in the state.

14 DEC

Foster Farms donates 25,000 pounds of poultry for Ventura wildfire relief

California poultry producer Foster Farms will deliver more than 25,000 pounds of frozen poultry products to FOOD Share of Ventura County, a Feeding America Food Bank serving Ventura County. The donation will be distributed to local relief agencies and food pantries to provide more than 50,000 meals to families displaced by the Thomas fire in Ventura County.

“Community involvement has been a Foster Farms value since 1939,” said Foster Farms CEO Laura Flanagan. “As a California company, we feel a responsibility to step forward and support our fellow Californians in times of need and we hope others will respond in kind.” Read more

14 DEC

FDA report shows declines in animal antibiotic sales

A new report from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows that for the first time since the agency began tracking antibiotic use on US farms, the amount of antibiotics sold domestically for use in food-producing animals has declined.

According to yesterday’s report, overall domestic sales and distribution of antibiotics approved for use in food-producing animals dropped by 10% from 2015 through 2016. That includes a 14% drop in the use of medically important antibiotics, and decreases in all individual drug classes.  Read more

14 DEC

EPA: Farms to spend $14.9 million to report manure emissions

U.S. farmers will spend an estimated $14.9 million a year reporting to federal emergency managers that livestock are releasing gas, the Environmental Protection Agency disclosed Monday.  The EPA also projected that the mandate, set to take effect Jan. 22, will apply to approximately 44,900 farms, though producer groups say they’re still sorting out which operations will have to report. “It’s going to be a challenge, to put it lightly,” said Jack Field, executive director of the Washington Cattle Feeders Association. The EPA included the figures in a notice due to be published Tuesday in the Federal Register. The new rule comes after a decade-long battle between the EPA and environmental groups over the scope of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, commonly known as the Superfund law.  Read more

14 DEC

Ancient DNA explains how chickens got to the Americas

On Thanksgiving, as many as 88% of American households put turkey, a bird native to North America that was first domesticated by the Mayans, on their table. But a small fraction of us choose to serve something else — most often, chicken. Although the chicken is incredibly popular in the U.S., with Americans eating close to 100 lbs per person per year, the origins of the bird and its importation to the New World are somewhat murky.  Read more

14 DEC

Assemblyman Adam Gray: Need real changes for water future

Now is the time to unite and plan California’s water infrastructure. That’s what Adam Gray told California Ag Today recently. Gray is the California State Assembly representing the 21st Assembly District, Merced and Stanislaus Counties. He said there is an urgent need for unification in regards to California’s water and the need for real changes to be made for future generations.

“It’s that famous quote, ‘Water’s for fighting. Whiskey’s for drinking.’ All we do is spend our time fighting, and we cannot continue to divide the pie. Read more

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