01 MAR

NCC, Other Poultry Groups Join Coalition Against Extension of Ethanol Subsidy

WASHINGTON – March 1, 2011 — The National Chicken Council, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, and several state poultry federations are among a vast coalition of 90 organizations opposing extension of the blenders’ credit that subsidizes the production of ethanol.  The groups sent letters to the leaders of Congress today calling on them to let the tax credit expire on schedule at the end of 2011.  The ethanol industry is lobbying Congress for an extension.  

“Congress has the opportunity to end the $6 billion a year subsidy to gasoline refiners who blend corn ethanol into gasoline,” the letter said.  “At a time of spiraling deficits, we do not believe Congress should continue subsidizing gasoline refiners for something that they are already required to do by the Renewable Fuels Standard.”

A coalition of 90 business associations, taxpayer advocates, hunger and development organizations, agricultural groups, free-market groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks, and public interest organizations today sent the letter to Congressional leadership urging Congress to let the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) expire and to resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.

In addition to NCC and USPOULTRY, the letter was signed by the state associations representing the poultry industry in Alabama, California, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

In the letter, the coalition says:

“The undersigned diverse group of business associations, taxpayer advocates, hunger and development organizations, agricultural groups, free-market groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks, and public interest organizations urge you to allow the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) to sunset this year and to resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.

“In particular, Congress has the opportunity to end the $6 billion a year subsidy to gasoline refiners who blend corn ethanol into gasoline. At a time of spiraling deficits, we do not believe Congress should continue subsidizing gasoline refiners for something that they are already required to do by the Renewable Fuels Standard.

“Experts like the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office have concluded that the subsidy is unnecessary, and leading economists agree that ending it would have little impact on ethanol production, prices or jobs.

“We urge you to let VEETC expire and resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.”

The following organizations signed the coalition letter:

ActionAid US

Africa Action

Africa Faith and Justice

Alabama Poultry and Egg Association

Alliance of Western Milk Producers

American Bakers Association

American Conservative Union

American Frozen Food Institute

Americans for Limited Government

Americans for Prosperity

American Jewish World Service

American Meat Institute

Beyond Pesticides

California Dairies, Inc.

California Poultry Federation

California Safe Schools

Center for Auto Safety

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Food Safety

Clean Air Task Force

Clean Water Action

Citizens for Tax Justice

Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Dairy Producers of New Mexico

Dairy Producers of Utah

Environment America

Environmental Working Group

Foreign Policy in Focus

Freedom Action

FreedomWorks

Friends of the Earth

Heartland Institute

Georgia Poultry Federation

Greenpeace USA

Grocery Manufacturers Association

Idaho Dairymen’s Association

Indiana State Poultry Association

International Center for Technology Assessment

International Dairy Foods Association

John Locke Foundation

KyotoUSA

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

League of Conservation Voters

Maryknoll Office of Global Concern

Milk Producers Council

Mississippi Poultry Association

MoveOn.org

National Audubon Society

National Catholic Rural Life Conference

National Council of Chain Restaurants

National Chicken Council

National Meat Association

National Restaurant Association

National Retail Federation

National Taxpayers Union

National Turkey Federation

National Wildlife Federation

Natural Resources Defense Council

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

North Carolina Poultry Federation

Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance

Northeast Organic Farming Association — Interstate Council (NOFA-IC)

Northwest Environmental Defense Center

Northwest Dairy Association

Oil Change International

Oxfam America

Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples (PLANT)

The Poultry Federation

Public Citizen

Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)

Safe Climate Campaign

The SafeLawns Foundation

Sierra Club

Snack Food Association

Southeast Milk Inc.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Southern Horticulture

Taxpayers for Common Sense

Tennessee Poultry Association

Texas Poultry Federation

U.S. Poultry and Egg Association

Union of Concerned Scientists

Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth

Virginia Poultry Federation

Washington Cattle Feeders Association

Washington State Dairy Federation

The Watershed Partnership

World Wildlife Fund

01 MAR

NCC Applauds Georgia Governor’s Call for Withdrawal of GIPSA Rule

WASHINGTON – MARCH 1, 2011 – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is right to recommend that the U.S. Department of Agriculture withdraw its proposed rule on the production and marketing of poultry and livestock because it would be “costly and disruptive” and goes beyond the intent of Congress, the National Chicken Council said today.

“Governor Deal’s comments are right on target and should be considered seriously by the Agriculture Department,” said NCC President George Watts.  “The proposed rule should be withdrawn and reworked.”

In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Deal said the rule proposed by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) would “drastically change” the long-standing contractual relationships between poultry companies and the farmers who work with them to raise birds. 

“Such a change would undoubtedly create a very costly and disruptive situation in Georgia and across the country where poultry is grown,” Deal wrote.

Deal, an attorney who served in Congress for 18 years before being elected Georgia’s governor last fall, said the GIPSA rule “goes well beyond” the intent of Congress when it directed the agency to make certain changes in its regulations as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.  He said Congress had already considered the issue of what is called “competitive injury” and decided that it was being handled appropriately by the courts.

“It would be not only inappropriate but an action exceeding the Department’s regulatory authority to not honor Congress’ mandate on this issue,” Deal said.  He said USDA should craft a final rule that “more closely adheres” to Congressional intent.

“Permit me to suggest that the best way to do this is to withdraw the current proposal and reissue a much more acceptable, pragmatic rule,” he wrote.

USDA is in the processing of considering the thousands of comments that were filed on the proposed rule.  The agency has set no deadline for finalizing its process.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens.  Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

23 FEB

Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP)

This program, managed by USDA Nation Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), is designed to encourage veterinarians to participate in food animal/rural practice. The program will pay back up to $25,000 per year of a veterinarian’s educational loan debt if they make a three year commitment to practice in an area or category identified as  a “Veterinary Shortage Situation”.  Last year, NIFA awarded grants to 62 candidates nationally, one of which was in California.

The role of the State Veterinarian’s office is to review and submit shortage areas for you.  This program can be the equivalent of offering a veterinarian with school debt up to $25,000 more per year, so it is a great way to attract veterinarians into an area!!  

Please look at the attachments, talk to anyone that may be aware of a veterinarian shortage area, and ask them, or help them, to get nomination forms back to us by March 12, 2011.

Additional Information

Types of nominations accepted:

·         California is allowed up to eight nominations

·         Category I − Rural or non-rural area with sufficient work to support a difficult to fill need that primarily (>80%) consists of food animal medicine   

·         Category II – Rural area with difficult to fill food animal medicine need and in which a wider ranging practice, i.e. mixed animal general practice, may be needed for income stability

·         Category III – Public practice

 

Last Year:

NIFA’s committee decided that only five of the eight California nominated areas met their criteria. They accepted three public needs (CDFA Poultry, CDFA Tulare, CAHFS Laboratory) and two Category II private practitioner needs (Glenn/Colusa county area and eastern Riverside County).  They rejected needs described for Aquaculture, Dairy/Dairy Goat in Tulare area, and Food Animal Practice in Trinity County. We had additional areas suggested (Plumas County, Modoc County, Shasta County, Shelter Medicine, and a Food Animal Resident position) that were not strong enough to put forward last year.

Among the five that were put forward only one was filled. This was a poultry position for CDFA. One of the contributing factors to this low award rate is that VERY few candidates applied to the California shortage areas, which suggests the opportunity was not sufficiently advertised or approved areas are so difficult to fill that even $25,000 a year towards student loans could not attract candidates.

15 FEB

Arby’s Richmond Receives T.O.M. Award in “Fast Food” Category

TUCSON – Feb. 10, 2011 – The National Turkey Federation (NTF) named Arby’s Richmond as the recipient of its Ninth Annual “Turkey on the Menu” (T.O.M.) Award in the “fast food category.”  The award honors this chain for its volume of turkey specialty sandwiches that provide versatility across its menu.  The T.O.M. Award was presented today at NTF’s Annual Convention.

“One third of their [Arby’s Richmond] menu consists of turkey items and with continued positive results, the number of turkey items could be closer to half in the near future,” said Kerry Doughty, Butterball, LLC, executive vice president of sales and marketing, who nominated Arby’s Richmond.  “They understand and appreciate their customers’ affinity for a great turkey sandwich or a delicious turkey entrée.”

Accepting the award on behalf of Arby’s Richmond was Bill Lowe, president of the Restaurant Company, which operates 19 Arby’s Restaurants in the Richmond, Va.-metro area.  The average unit volumes are more than two times the system’s average.  The Restaurant Company has operated the highest volume Arby’s and six of the chain’s Top-10 sales leaders worldwide for the last two decades.

T.O.M. Award winners in other categories are:

Cracker Barrel – winner in the “mid-scale/casual dining category,” Cracker Barrel provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its 597 restaurants.  Nominated by Butterball, LLC, this foodservice operation was chosen for its application of turkey in refreshing salads and in the traditional Turkey n’ Dressing Platter.

Henry’s Markets – winner in the “supermarket foodservice category,” Henry’s Markets, was chosen for its diverse offering of ready-made and made-to-order turkey sandwiches in the service deli.  This California-based supermarket chain was nominated by Foster Farms.

Polly’s Pies – winner in the “full service category,” Polly’s Pies is a Southern California restaurant company that specializes in high-quality food made from scratch.  Nominated by Foster Farms, this foodservice operation was chosen for its variety of fresh, locally grown turkey menu options.

Quiznos – winner in the “quick casual category,” Quiznos offers toasty sandwiches, fresh salads and delicious soups.  Also nominated by Foster Farms, this foodservice operation was chosen for being a pioneer of the toasted turkey sandwich, along with a commitment to convenience and value.

“On behalf of NTF, it’s an honor to recognize these exemplary foodservice operations with our annual T.O.M. Award in recognition of their excellence in menuing turkey,” said Sherrie Rosenblatt, NTF’s vice president of marketing and communications.

NTF members nominated the foodservice chains that exemplify the criteria of the T.O.M. Award.  Entrant applications address questions regarding turkey menu applications, the items’ consumer appeal, how the chain promotes the menu items through marketing and turkey’s food cost percentage.  A panel of foodservice professionals rates the entries on consumer appeal, versatility, taste, value, and how the turkey applications benefits the chain operation.  Only the winner that received the most overall points from the judges received the award at NTF’s Annual Convention.

About the National Turkey Federation
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the $14 billion turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members’ products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning website,
www.EatTurkey.com, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,800 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

14 FEB

New NTF Chairman Tells Industry to “Do the Right Thing” When Facing Numerous Challenges

TUCSON – Feb. 13, 2011 – The National Turkey Federation’s (NTF) Board of Directors elected Rick Huisinga to serve as the federation’s 2011 chairman. Huisinga is executive vice president of Willmar Poultry Company in Willmar, Minn.

“I’m a pragmatic person and I believe that using common sense and simply doing the right thing will serve us well to mitigate the numerous regulatory and legislative issues our industry will continue to face in this strange political climate,” Huisinga said during his acceptance speech. “Whether it is talking about environmental stewardship, the responsible use of antibiotics or food safety practices, we can all do the right thing by being a part of the public affairs process.”

Huisinga discussed in detail those regulatory and legislative challenges that will confront the turkey industry – antibiotic use in animal agriculture; food safety; environmental regulations; the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration proposed marketing rule; and renewable fuels policy.

During the conclusion of his acceptance speech, Huisinga spoke about the importance of being engaged in NTF by saying, “The best way to ensure we do the right thing is to continue to collaborate, communicate and coordinate on many of the items I’ve just discussed.”

During NTF’s Annual Convention, the Board of Directors also elected Steve Willardsen, president, Cargill Value Added Meats, as vice chairman; and John Burkel, director, Northern Pride, Inc., as secretary-treasurer. Yubert Envia, vice president of turkey and prepared foods, Foster Farms, assumes the position of immediate past chairman.

Huisinga began his career at Willmar Poultry Company in 1983 in the research and development department after attending school in California and at the University of Minnesota. At Willmar Poultry, Huisinga’s passion and dedication are focused on providing the turkey industry with innovative products, technologies and techniques for the future.

In addition to serving on NTF’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Huisinga is also on Minnesota Turkey Growers Association’s Breeder Hen and Research Funding committees and is a member of the General Conference Committee on the National Poultry Improvement Plan.

Since 1945, Willmar Poultry Company has been in the business of breeding, hatching, growing and processing turkeys, as well as developing and producing hatchery automation machines and food safety vaccines.

During the convention, the Board also reelected Gary Cooper, Cooper Farms; Jihad Douglas, Aviagen Turkeys; Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods; Ron Prestage, Prestage Farms; John Reicks, Sara Lee Food and Beverage; Ted Seger, Farbest Foods, Inc.; and Carl Wittenburg, Protein Alliance, Inc., to the Executive Committee (EC).

The Board elected Jim Leighton, Perdue Farms, Inc., to his first term as an EC member.

After the Board meeting, the elected EC members appointed Jeff Sveen, Dakota Provisions, to the Executive Committee as at-large members.

About the National Turkey Federation
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the $14 billion turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members’ products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning web site, EatTurkey.com, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,900 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

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