In another round of establishing animal production standards, the voters of California overwhelmingly passed Proposition 12 by a vote of 61% to 39% at the polls Nov. 6. The proposition will move forward with mandating new minimum space requirements for the confinement of veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens and requires that eggs, pork and veal sold in California meet this same standard.
At Pleasant Valley Farms in Farmington, Richard Jenkins family has raised egg-laying chickens since 1962. “This is an aviary barn. The birds are allowed to fly around, land and perch,” said Jenkins. And since 2009, his 400,000 hens have been cage-free.
“We felt it was going to go cage-free. We felt we could supply them economically to our grocery store. And, we didn’t have the desire to go into a bigger cage and retro-fit again,” added Jenkins. Read more
With the countdown to Thanksgiving underway, Foster Farms has expanded DORI™, its in-store mobile resource, to provide recipes, tips and hacks to make it your best Thanksgiving ever. DORI is accessible through a QR code on packages of Foster Farms fresh turkey. Consumers needing help with their Thanksgiving turkey preparation can also call DORI’s turkey helpline (1-833-TALKTKY or 1-833-825-5859). With DORI, Thanksgiving cooking advice is now available on-the-go, in-store or at home.
California Republicans lost two House seats in Tuesday’s midterm election and could surrender more as tens of thousands of ballots are counted in four other contests that remain too close to call.
The party has an exceedingly small chance of holding the seats of Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Jeff Denham, historical voting patterns suggest. Two other Republicans, Rep. Mimi Walters and Young Kim of Fullerton, hold thin leads over their opponents that could also vanish. Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing updates to its virus elimination flat rate payments for table egg laying bird barns and table egg storage and processing facilities affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) or H5 and H7 subtypes of low pathogenic avian influenza (H5/H7 LPAI).
When a poultry facility becomes infected with HPAI or H5/H7 LPAI, virus elimination is a crucial step in the recovery process. APHIS can provide compensation for virus elimination activities conducted by the owner/producer, but must ensure that these activities are both time- and cost-effective. This proposed flat rate applies to facilities for pullets or table egg laying birds housed off the floor in cages. The rate for table egg laying birds is based on a cubic-yard basis rather than a per-bird basis, and the rate for table egg storage and processing facilities is based on a square-foot basis. This facility size-based rate would be a change from previous flat rates, which were calculated on a per-bird basis. Read more
During a routine test, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health identified H5N2 low pathogenic avian influenza in a Stearns County turkey flock. All flocks are tested for influenza before they are moved to market, and this finding was part of the everyday process of ensuring a safe food supply and protecting Minnesota’s poultry industry from the spread of influenza. The flock of 13-week-old hens has been quarantined and will be tested and monitored until the Board determines the flock is virus-negative, and the turkeys can be controlled marketed.
This is not the same strain of virus that impacted Minnesota and other states in 2015, and thus the Board’s response is different. This strain of influenza in poultry does not pose a public health risk or food safety concern. Read more
California voters once again hold in their hands the fate of animal producers not only in their state but the country when they head to the ballots Nov. 6 regarding Proposition 12. Similar to Prop 2, which passed in 2008, the proposed amendment would establish minimum space allotted per farm animal and requires cage-free production systems for egg-laying hens by 2022. Read more
Generational trends may mean more Thanksgiving celebrations according to Meyocks survey. The folks at Butterball1 might need to produce more turkeys in the future if generational trends hold. Consumers aged 34 and younger – who mostly represent millennials and Generation Z – are more likely than older Americans to celebrate multiple Thanksgiving dinners, but they are just as likely to include turkey on the dinner plate. In fact, 62 percent of younger Americans are planning more than one special Thanksgiving meal, compared with 38 percent of those aged 35 and older. Read more
Zacky Farms, a family-run company that rose to prominence as a leading turkey producer, has officially announced it’s closing plants in Fresno and Stockton.
About 1,000 workers will be impacted, a company official said.
The company posted a statement on its website, saying it struggled to remain profitable despite attempts to seek business and capital.
“…those exhaustive efforts have been unsuccessful and Zacky must now proceed with steps to cease operations. As Zacky winds down, it is presently expected that all operations will completely cease on January 19, 2019,” the statement said.
“Zacky Farms President Lillian Zacky confirmed to me today she will be out of the feather business by the end of the year. This is a sad time for California’s poultry business because the Zacky’s have been a vital part of our industry. Lillian leaves our Board of Directors as chairman where she helped promote poultry in California and throughout the nation,” said Bill Mattos, California Poultry Federation president. “This is a reminder to our government leaders that some of California’s regulations and rules are not helping our industry. In fact, it’s important that our industry and government work together to find ways to cut costs and save the thousands of jobs across the state. Poultry is one of the most labor-intensive industries in the state with jobs for thousands in some of the lowest employment areas,” Mattos continued. Read more
The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers commend the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its proposed changes to the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA) Act. The rule would clarify that farms would not be required to report air releases from animal manure. Read more