15 FEB

ETHANOL: Republican plans Senate bill to put brakes on E15 approval

Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker this week plans to introduce a Senate bill targeting U.S. EPA’s decision to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent, according to a spokesman for the senator.

An oil industry source said the legislation is expected to freeze the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline at 10 percent and prohibit the agency from approving E15 going forward. Wicker spokesman Rick Curtsinger didn’t provide additional details about the bill. The measure would essentially nullify EPA decisions last year to provide partial waivers from the Clean Air Act for E15. Those waivers allow cars with model years 2001 and newer to use the fuel, which has been slow to make a dent in the marketplace. Gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol is currently the norm.

Oil industry groups, automakers, food producers and environmental groups have complained about EPA’s decision to expand the market for ethanol, calling the decision premature and warning that E15 has been shown to damage car engines. There are also widespread concerns that the fuel will be used in vehicles not approved for its use, such as motorcycles and boats. The ethanol industry has disputed those claims, pointing to extensive testing by EPA and the Department of Energy before the fuel’s approval. In the last Congress, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) led efforts to slow the introduction of E15; the Wicker bill would represent the first Senate legislation to limit its use.

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

 
15 FEB

On trade, California Republican Nunes is an Obama critic turned ally

 New plans for a big European trade deal put President Barack Obama and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on the same page, for now. Obama wants the deal covering trade and investment with the European Union. To get it, he must navigate the House of Representatives’ trade subcommittee chaired by Nunes. What happens next will test the cooperation of two men who, until now, have rarely agreed on anything.

"I’m optimistic at this point," Nunes said in an interview Wednesday. "This is an area were we can work together in a bipartisan way." Read More 

15 FEB

Ban on flea-market animal sales proposed by California lawmaker

 Puppies, kittens and other live animals could not be sold at flea markets or swap meets under legislation proposed this week by a Sacramento legislator.

Assemblyman Roger Dickinson’s measure, Assembly Bill 339, would make first offenses an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $250. If an animal suffers or is injured, however, the charge can be hiked to a misdemeanor and the fine to $1,000.

Dickinson, D-Sacramento, said that puppies, kittens, baby rabbits, turtles, exotic birds, reptiles and birds commonly are sold at swap meets and flea markets, often in close proximity and sometimes in crowded pens lacking adequate food or water. Read More 

14 FEB

NCC, broad coalition urge USDA to uphold its commitment to food safety inspection

 The National Chicken Council today, along with 37 organizations representing various aspects of animal agriculture, livestock and poultry producers, food processing and manufacturing, retail, international trade and transportation, wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to express strong concerns with the possibility of furloughing the nation’s federal meat, poultry and egg products inspectors in the event sequestration goes into effect. "We understand USDA is considering implementing a sequestration plan that would result in furloughing all the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS’s) meat, poultry and egg products inspectors for 15 days," the groups wrote.  "Because of the importance of federal inspection to the production of meat, poultry and egg products, we do not believe furloughing FSIS inspectors to be an appropriate response to sequestration within the framework of the federal meat, poultry and egg products inspection laws.  It certainly would not be in the public interest."
A copy of the full letter, along with a list of organizations signing it, can be viewed by clicking here. 

14 FEB

USDA food inspection threatened by automatic U.S. budget cuts

As Congressionally mandated budget cuts move closer to their Mar. 1 launch, reports are surfacing that the nation’s food inspection operations will be forced to undergo serious changes that will impact food safety and prices. A memo distributed by the White House last week indicated that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will be forced to shut down operations for as long as 15 days, a finding USDA officials confirmed to Meatingplace today. The so-called sequestration would force meat processing to shut down for the period when FSIS inspectors are idled, resulting in about $10 billion in losses for the more than 6,200 plants affected.  Read More 

14 FEB

Are plant-based diets environmentally friendly?

 A nutritious diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables might not be the greenest in its environmental impact, according to a new study from France. After analyzing the eating habits of about 2,000 French adults, and the greenhouse gas emissions generated by producing the plants, fish, meat, fowl and other ingredients, researchers concluded that widely embraced goals for the health of people and for the health of the planet are not necessarily perfectly compatible.  Read More

14 FEB

USDA broiler production forecast for 2013 increased again

The forecast for USDA’s broiler production for 2013 was increased again this month and is now expected to be 36.901 billion pounds, 495 million pounds above the department’s estimate last month, and 0.7 percent more than the slightly revised upward estimate of 36.640 billion pounds for 2012, according to the "World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates" report released today from the World Agricultural Outlook Board. USDA’s current broiler production estimate for 2012 at 36.640 billion pounds is 0.4 percent below the 36.803 billion pounds in 2011. Increased broiler production is likely USDA said because hatchery data point to continued expansion and slaughter weights have been increasing.  Read More  

07 FEB

Dear CPF Board Members, Allied Members and Friends,

Our first meeting for 2013 is set for Tuesday, March 12 at the Piccadilly Inn on Shaw Avenue in Fresno. We kick off the meeting with a buffet breakfast and conclude before noon. CPF members should have received an email Tuesday with meeting details, however, as always, we will take your meal, room and meeting reservations by phone  

or email.

 

Again, this year, we will hold a State and Federal PAC reception the night before the meeting. Contributions are $100 per person, and depending on whether your check comes from a personal account (FED) or company (STATE), we will deposit it into the proper account. We urge you to consider attending this event, planned as a wine and  

hors d’oeuvres event at the Piccadilly Inn. Phone our office for details and/or to reserve your attendance. And, you are encouraged to bring friends and/or colleagues who may want to assist in our PAC fundraising.

 

The CPF and poultry industry has significant challenges again this year, particularly getting to know so many new state and federal elected officials. We need your help. Plan to attend the PAC reception and, of course, our board meeting in Fresno.  

 

Phone (209) 576-6355 for more information.

   Bill's Signature

Bill Mattos, President

07 FEB

Animal Agriculture gives big thanks to Ram Trucks for “So God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl commercial

This week nearly 250 regional, state and national farm, ranch and agribusiness organizations sent a heartfelt "thank you" to Chrysler Group Chair and CEO Sergio Marchionne – and his Ram Trucks team – for its outstanding XLVII Super Bowl commercial "So God Made a Farmer."  The ad kicks off a campaign declaring 2013 "The Year of the Farmer," and features gorgeous still images from ten noted photographers including William Albert Allard and Kurt Markus. The commercial’s crowning glory, however, is legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey’s recitation of his essay on the virtues of the American farmer, which he originally delivered at a Future Farmers of America conference in 1978. Mr. Harvey passed away in 2009.

The commercial also kicks off a partnership with the National FFA Foundation to draw viewers to the http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/keepplowing site.  For every view, download or share of the two-minute spot, Ram trucks will make a donation to the FFA Foundation’s "Feeding the World – Starting at Home" hunger program. In addition to the advertisement being the third most popular Super Bowl commercial according to USA Today’s "Ad Meter," it has already received over six million online views to date.

Read More
 
To read the thank you letter sent to the Chrysler Group and Dodge Ram Team and for a complete list of the letter’s signatories, visit the Alliance website.    

07 FEB

2012 Census of Agriculture underway – Respond now

The Census, conducted only once every five years by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), is more than a count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It is a look at land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other things that affect the way farmers do business in the 21st Century.

Census data is used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities, from federal, state and local governments to agribusinesses and trade associations, like the California Poultry Federation. Companies and cooperatives can use the information to determine the locations of facilities that will serve agricultural producers. Often legislators use the information when shaping farm policies and programs. And, members of the California poultry community can use Census data to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations.

Data collection for the Census will continue through early June. A second mailing of the Census forms will occur February 14. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Online_Response. The Census gives farmers and ranchers a chance to have their voices heard.

You can find more information about the Census and make sure you are counted by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov, or call Vic Tolomeo or Jodi Letterman at 1-800-851-1127 for more information.

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