06 APR

NTF Chairman proposes Animal Disease Defense Plan

National Turkey Federation Chairman Carl Wittenburg advocated for protection of the nation’s nearly $441 billion investment in poultry and livestock requiring a forward-looking, mandatory Animal Pest and Disease Prevention Programme and Foot and Mouth Vaccine Bank designed to limit the impacts of foreign diseases on American livestock and poultry producers. Read more

06 APR

New FDA controls don’t go far enough to prevent antibiotic resistance, GAO says

A federal report released by the Government Accountability Office last week says that the FDA’s new controls on the agricultural use of antibiotics fall short of expectations, especially as far as the prevention of antibiotic resistance is concerned. The new controls, which were finally implemented in January three years after they were first announced, were intended to make it impossible for livestock producers to use routine, subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics as growth promoters, a technique that has been used since the 1940s to get animals up to slaughtering weight in shorter time frames. The new controls were made up of two documents that would “protect public health” and “help phase out the use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals for productive purposes,” according to the FDA. Read more

06 APR

Canadian chicken farmers proud to raise chicken that Canadians trust

Canada’s chicken farmers are appalled by the inaccurate and irresponsible portrayal of Canadian chicken production that is being used to target retail and foodservice companies. Mercy for Animals, a US-based activist organization, has recently been using sensationalized video footage and accusations implying that this is representative of Canadian chicken farms. Other groups have also been using questionable information to fuel their campaigns and push an agenda to eliminate animal agriculture and shutter Canadian farms. These tactics are shameful, inaccurate, deliberately misleading, and undermine the hard work and animal welfare standards of local Canadian farmers throughout the country. Read more

24 MAR

Confirmation hearing goes smoothly for Sonny Perdue to become ag chief

Things could not have gone better for former Gov. Sonny Perdue at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday even if he had tried. The Trump administration’s nominee to lead the Department of Agriculture won praise from senators of both parties during his 2 1/2-hour turn before the Agriculture Committee, including the endorsement of the panel’s influential top Democrat, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. His confirmation appears all but assured – the real question is when that vote could occur. The tone at Thursday’s hearing was friendly and upbeat, a striking departure from the fiercely partisan battles that marked the confirmation debates of some of President Donald Trump’s other Cabinet picks, including that of former Georgia Congressman Tom Price, now the health secretary.  Read more

24 MAR

Turkey Demand Project to boost consumption

One of the hot topics at February’s annual meeting of the National Turkey Federation (NTF) was the Turkey Demand Project. In 2015, U.S. consumption of turkey was 16.0 pounds per person. NTF’s goal is to increase per-person turkey consumption to 20 pounds by 2020. “We bring turkey top of mind in menu planning,” said Keith Williams, NTF’s vice president of communication and marketing. “Our strategy is to inspire a taste for new offerings from varieties of ground turkey for burgers, sausages, meatballs and meatloaf as well as turkey breast, turkey drums and turkey that may be barbecued, smoked, sautéed or grilled.”  Read more

24 MAR

Egg makers are freaked out by the cage-free future

One of the most dramatic changes in the American food production system is now underway in the egg industry. A wave of big restaurants and grocers have committed to switch entirely to cage-free eggs, setting up the industry for a broad transformation. The problem, critics say, is that while the industry is preparing to flood the market with cage-free product, what consumers still overwhelmingly choose to buy are the cheaper, battery-farmed options. Since the mid-20th century, when farmers started bringing hens indoors, the system has become so efficient that people can now buy eggs for less than 10 cents each, and the average Americans now eats an estimated 267 eggs per year.  Read more

24 MAR

Commercial flock tests positive for avian flu in Cullman Cty, AL

A flock of commercial poultry at a Cullman County farm has tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza. The diagnosis was confirmed through Auburn University and the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

State agriculture officials say the low pathogenic strain of bird flu does not pose a risk to the food supply, and no affected poultry have entered the food chain. The risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low, said State Veterinarian, Dr. Tony Frazier. “This probably means the flock will have to be de-populated. That determination is being made now,” said Daniel Autrey, chief of staff for State Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan. A “stop movement” order has been in place since March 15, banning all bird exhibitions of any kind until further notice.  Read more

20 MAR

Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) says “water grab will create valley of despair”

Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) submitted a letter to the State Water Resources Contro lBoard on Friday, urging the Board to reject the proposed update to the Bay-Delta Plan and start the study process over again. Today is the last day for public comment on the proposal to take an additional 300,000 acre-feet of water annually from the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus rivers. Gray’s letter was accompanied by several letters from local government officials and over 1,000 additional petitions from local residents calling for a rejection of the proposal.
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20 MAR

Hybrid Turkeys announces major investments in USA supply chain

Hybrid Turkeys is proud to announce plans for ongoing and future investments in the US turkey industry. In order to deliver industry leading quality products throughout the supply chain, Hybrid will invest in two new hatcheries, new egg production farms together with new contract partners, state of the art transportation, and the skilled workforce needed to support these areas of operations. “Our business is focused creating value for customers and built on strong partnerships in the industry.  As the demands of the modern consumer evolve, the stresses on a collaborative supply chain for the turkey industry have never been greater. A more transparent food system, with ever reducing use of antibiotics, means that the responsible production of high quality day old turkey poults is critical.” said Dave Libertini, Managing Director.  Read more

20 MAR

Why Trump repealed the ‘Clean Water’ rule

Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Feb. 28 ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back the Waters of the United States rule issued by the Obama administration. During the signing Trump called the order, also known as the Clean Water rule, “a massive power grab” and said EPA’s regulators are putting people “out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands.” Federal law authorizes the EPA to regulate “navigable waters.” At issue in the objections to the Waters of the United States rule is what defines these waters. Critics say the rule gives the government the power to regulate every pond, puddle or ditch.  Read more

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