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Semi-trailer Rolls Killing Driver and Five Cows in Oregon

The driver of a semi-trailer was killed along with five cattle that were being hauled prior to a rollover accident in Oregon.
( Oregon State Police )

A semi-trailer truck hauling 28 head of cattle crashed Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 84 in northeast Oregon, killing the driver and shutting down the highway for several hours while authorities rounded up loose animals.

The wreck happened on Oct. 16 in the afternoon when according to Oregon State Police, a 2012 Peterbilt semi-truck heading westbound on the highway left the road for unknown reasons and struck a guardrail before overturning.

The driver, identified as Shannon Dwinell, 46, of Great Bend, Kan., was pronounced dead at the scene. Five cows were also killed in the rollover — three died instantly and two more were pronounced dead at the scene. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

According to Oregon State Police, Dwinell was driving westbound on I-84 in Union County when for unknown reasons the truck hit a guardrail and flipped about two miles west of North Powder. No other vehicles were involved in the wreck. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

 A cause for the crash has not been made available by authorities. The Oregon Department of Transportation temporarily shut down the highway eastbound between Pendleton and Baker City, and westbound from Baker City to La Grande. All lanes were reopened later Tuesday evening. 

Culver’s to Send Care Packages to 500 Wisconsin Dairy Farmers

The Culver’s restaurant chain wants to do something special for the state’s struggling dairy farmers who are enduring a period of low milk and commodity prices. Starting October 22, the Wisconsin-based company will take up to 500 nominations of local farmers and show them, their families and employees some appreciation by sending care packages consisting of gift cards and certificates.

Culver’s Public Relations Specialist Alison Wedig says farmers are facing tough times, which has caused more than 650 Wisconsin dairy operations to go out of business since early last year.

“Culver’s got its start with the help of Wisconsin dairy farmers more than three decades ago, and is committed to efforts that help them today and into the future,” Wedig said. “We have long believed in the importance of supporting our neighbors–especially when they’re going through a difficult time.”

Company CEO Joe Koss adds that Culver’s wanted to do something to show farmers that they are appreciated, even if it’s a small gesture.

To nominate a deserving farm family after October 22, go to:

Australian milk levy a mess: Worst hit farmers get nothing

The dairy industry desperately wants to end the supermarket giants’ $1-a-litre milk discounting.

But Queensland Dairy Organisation’s call for a 10-cent-a-litre “drought levy” is the wrong way of going about it.

Trying to use public sympathy over drought to leverage a milk price increase is absurd and the consequent mess we now face was entirely predictable.

Droughts come and go. So it’s no surprise Woolworths and Coles see the 10-cent drought levy as a temporary measure, to be removed once we get a decent break.

This is not what QDO or the Australian Dairy Farmers wanted. As ADF president Terry Richardson recently said: “Ultimately, we must push for a permanent end to discounted dairy products, whether it’s $1 per litre milk or cheap cheese.”

What we have instead is a drought levy that has created confusion, is being collected on some milk containers and not others, depending on the supermarket, and is being unfairly distributed.

We even have Woolworths collecting the 10-cent a litre drought levy on Victorian milk (supplied by Fonterra) and then handing the proceeds on to Parmalat for distribution to its 220 NSW and Queensland dairy farmers. How is this fair? None of the levy is going to NSW Bega suppliers or Victoria’s Central Gippsland and East Gippsland dairy farmers, who have endured two years of severe rainfall deficiencies.

Many of the Parmalat suppliers receiving an extra 10 cents a litre are farming on the northern NSW and Queensland coasts which have suffered the least in the current drought.

To Coles’ credit, its managers appear to have recognised the inequity of simply handing the levy to one processor, and are distributing the levy they collect through a central fund that’s available to all drought-affected dairy farmers.

Finally, a drought levy on drinking milk is inequitable to Victorian farmers, given most of their milk goes into manufacturing.

Just 644 million litres of Victorian farmers’ 5.9 billion litre annual production goes into drinking milk, which means distributing a 10-cent levy would deliver an extra cent a litre to the state’s dairy farmers. Compare that to a Queensland Parmalat supplier who has been promised 10 cents a litre from the levy.

Sadly the whole drought levy campaign simply reflects the disunity of the dairy industry.

Rather than mounting a co-ordinated campaign to increase drinking milk prices across the board, we’ve ended up with a kneejerk response that has turned into a complete mess.

QDO, ADF and the other state dairy farmer lobby groups need to sit down with processors to thrash out a strategy that ends supermarkets’ “down” discounting.


Source: The Weekly Times

CVMA urges Canadian dairy farmers to develop a farm-specific culling strategy with their local vet

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) wants to see a better way of handling compromised cull dairy cows.

It’s calling for greater co-operation amongst producers, their vets, as well as transporters, processors and cattle marketers.

In a resolution adopted at its annual summer meeting, the CVMA says cull dairy cows “have an increased likelihood of suffering when exposed to transport-related stressors.”

Proper handling will come from “on-farm animal welfare-based cow culling decisions and the national standardization of dairy cow best management practices.”

The group said dairy producers bear the primary responsibility for appropriate culling decisions, and should work directly with their herd veterinarian to develop a farm-specific culling strategy. While farmers need to work with their vet on specific on-farm protocols to optimize the welfare of cull dairy cows, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) needs “to continue to develop, enhance, and implement effective on-farm animal welfare programs to improve the well-being of all dairy cattle.”

Co-operation among stakeholders is essential to limit welfare risks to cull dairy cows before and after they are removed from the farm, CVMA said.

Last year, the Canadian Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council also called for improved handling of cull dairy cows so suffering animals proceed to slaughter humanely rather than spending days in transport and handling facilities.

Its report contained 19 recommendations, developed with input from DFC and veterinary experts, on cull cow management and shipment to avoid long journeys.

DFC spokeswoman Therese Beaulieu said the industry has moved to address the situation in several ways during the last few years.

“We have made a proposal for training for farmers, and have asked government if it would like to co-invest in this initiative – and we will do it whether we get funding or not,” she said.

She added that the “chain of custody” during transportation is a very challenging issue.

“Does the onus always fall on farmers who ought to have made better or more timely decisions on culling?” she asked. “Should farmers always have to think cows will spend more than three days in transit for whatever reason or decision that is made after the cow has left the farm? Some cows are fine when they leave the farm, but are not a few days later, because they have been travelled from one spot to another.”

While some provinces have a direct-to-slaughter designation, there are few-and-far-between plants that take cull dairy cows, she said. “There is so much more that has been done and is being done on the topic of transportation – from transporter courses, new federal regulations that we are waiting for – to various initiatives in the provinces.”

The CVMA said emphasis needs to be placed on culling animals before they become compromised and at a higher risk of transport-related deterioration.

“Although dairy cows are commonly culled in good condition, many have pre-existing physical limitations and health conditions that may compromise their welfare during transport and increase the risk of transport-related injury and suffering,” the CVMA statement read.

Producers and veterinarians need to be aware of the potential for multiple journeys and routes as cull dairy cows are moved between auction markets and to slaughter, it said.

“Cull dairy cows must be assessed for fitness prior to each intended journey and only transported and auctioned if determined to be able to tolerate the intended processes without suffering. Cull dairy cows require an evaluation and may require extra precautions prior to and during each transport.

Alternatives to routine marketing through auction markets include transport direct to local slaughter, on-farm slaughter, mobile slaughter, or on-farm euthanasia, CVMA said.

The group said producers should “closely monitor their dairy herds and work closely with their herd veterinarians to cull cows prior to them being at risk during transport. Veterinarians have a responsibility to promote the humane treatment of animals and have a key role in educating their clients on the selection of animals which are fit for transport.”


Ontario dairy farmer continues Canadian milk tour after tragic death of wife

Conrad Van Hierden hosted Henk Schuurmans and his daughter Lize at Hilltop Dairy. The Schuurmans are travelling across Canada to promote Canadian milk and dairies.

Henk Schuurmans is passionate about milk and the Canadian dairy industry.
That prompted the 55-year-old dairy farmer from Ontario to undertake a cross-Canada tour to promote his industry.
Schuurmans and his wife Bettina set out in July on a cross-Canada journey to experience the country and promote Canadian dairy faming.
They were travelling in a John Deere tractor, hauling a large statue of a dairy cow to attract attention.
The Schuurmans stopped at popular tourist attractions, other locations in cities as well as farms to talk about dairy and supply management.
On July 9 on a highway just north of Saskatoon, the Schuurmans’ vehicle was hit by a transport truck.
Bettina was killed and Henk suffered injuries that included a broken pelvis and ribs.
“It’s crazy what happened,” Schuurmans said. “It’s very tragic.”
The family decided it was important to complete the journey to honour Bettina Schuurmans, and the children volunteered to ride with their father.
“It’s kind of a healing thing in honour of my wife and their mom,” Schuurmans said. “We just want to give it a little better ending.”
Henk Schuurmans and his daughter Lize from Elmira, Ont. were in Fort Macleod recently on their Canadian Milk Tour.
The Schuurmans stopped at Hilltop Dairy on Wednesday night, where Conrad Van Hierden hosted a gathering of local dairy farmers.
After taking time to heal from his injuries, Henk Schuurmans resumed the journey on Sept. 8 with support from his five children, to honour Bettina’s memory and finish what they set out to do.
This time, Schuurmans loaded the large cow into a pickup with signs promoting his message to Canadians.
The signs promoted 100 per cent Canadian milk, and keeping family dairy farms in the country.
“Those are the two messages that we give people,” Schuurmans said. “And that we have superior quality, of course.”
Schuurmans said the signs — and the large cow — have caught the attention of Canadians.
“We get a lot of waves and honks, a lot of people taking pictures,” Schuurmans said.
People were quick to share the photos they took with their cell phones on social media, further promoting the Schuurmans’ cause.
“It’s really neat to see that happen.”
Schuurmans immigrated to Canada from Holland and for 25 years managed a dairy farm. Five years ago he bought the operation.
Schuurmans has sons aged 25, 26 and 27 who are interested in dairy farming as their careers.
“They are ready to take over the farm, and we just want to make sure that there is a future for them,” Schuurmans said.
Schuurmans said the cross-country trip was an effective way to get the message out.
“Except the government didn’t listen,” Schuurmans said. “With NAFTA being decided . . . we’re not very happy with what they gave away.
Just three days before Schuurmans arrived in Fort Macleod, Canada and the U.S. signed a renewed NAFTA agreement known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that is expected to open the door to more American dairy imports into Canada.
Schuurmans said consumers were responsive to his message, but told him they want a better labelling system so they can be sure the milk they buy is Canadian.
“We have to do a better job identifying our quality Canadian product.”

Source: Macleod Gazette

State slaps Lost Valley Farm with $187,000 fine

Even if the controversial Lost Valley Farm cleans up its wastewater problems under a new operator, the Oregon Department of Agriculture will proceed with a permit revocation.

The Lost Valley Farm dairy outside Boardman, Ore., has been fined a record $187,000 for allegedly violating its wastewater permit.

E.J. Harris/EO Media Group File

The Lost Valley Farm dairy outside Boardman, Ore., has been fined a record $187,000 for allegedly violating its wastewater permit.

Wym Matthews, center, manager of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s confined animal feeding operation program, said the state will revoke Lost Valley Farm’s CAFO permit.

Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press

Wym Matthews, center, manager of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s confined animal feeding operation program, said the state will revoke Lost Valley Farm’s CAFO permit.

Oregon farm regulators have issued a fine of more than $187,000 to a controversial Oregon dairy, citing more than 220 violations of its wastewater permit between last December and late August.

Among the alleged violations by Lost Valley Farm of Boardman, Ore., are unauthorized manure discharges, storing too much manure in lagoons, repeatedly applying manure to fields without first installing required soil moisture sensors and keeping excessive numbers of mature cattle.

The dairy has until early November to challenge the civil penalties issued by the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s confined animal feeding program before an administrative judge.

“It is the largest CAFO penalty we’ve ever issued,” said Wym Matthews, the program manager.

None of the violations were that severe on their own, but they added up over time, he said. “The same thing happened continually without repair.”

Lost Valley Farm was recently put under new management after its owner, Greg te Velde, lost control of the facility’s operations in bankruptcy proceedings and the reins were handed to a federal trustee. Two other dairies, both in California, were also put under the trustee’s control.

ODA expects to proceed with its revocation of the dairy’s confined animal feeding operation permit even if the trustee, accountant Randy Sugarman, cleans up the facility’s act, said Matthews.

“Our unwavering aim is to revoke this permit. Whoever’s name is on it, we’re going to revoke it,” Matthews said at an Oct. 11 meeting of the CAFO advisory committee in Salem, Ore.

Lost Valley Farm is challenging the revocation of its CAFO permit through an administrative process, and a hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 13.

Even if the dairy is brought into regulatory compliance, its past actions — such as manure lagoon overflows — warrant the revocation, and the ODA has lost all trust in te Velde’s management, Matthews said.

Even if the facility operated properly over the short term, the agency has no confidence that te Velde could keep up the compliance, he said.

The ODA anticipates arguing in bankruptcy court that its revocation of Lost Valley’s permit isn’t subject to the “automatic stay” that protects the company against adverse creditor actions under the bankruptcy process, Matthews said.

“Do you allow a facility to continue to violate state and federal laws?” he said.

While the facility does have some design flaws, ODA believes the wastewater problems were fundamentally caused by improper operations, he said.

If the dairy is eventually sold to repay te Velde’s creditors, the new owner would have to apply for a new CAFO permit, Matthews said.


WFU calls for a dose of reality in trade deal

Wisconsin Farmers Union issued a statement today to clarify the actual impact that the proposed USMCA trade deal will have on the U.S. dairy industry. The U.S. Trade Representative reports that the deal would open the door for an additional $560 Million worth of U.S. dairy products to enter the Canadian market duty-free. That is about 1.5 percent of the total value of U.S. dairy production.

“A 1.5 percent increase in dairy products sold is not going to be the salvation of our dairy industry,” said Wisconsin Farmers Union president Darin Von Ruden. Von Ruden, who dairy farms in Westby, notes that the U.S. has increased domestic dairy production in 18 of the last 20 years, by about 1.5 percent each year. “This small increase in sales to Canada may not even offset our own domestic production increase this year, not to mention where we’ll be at 2 or 3 or 10 years down the road,” said Von Ruden.  “We need to exercise some discipline on our own side of the border rather than looking for salvation outside our borders.”

Von Ruden reiterated Wisconsin Farmers Union’s longstanding call for a federal policy mechanism to balance supply and demand in the dairy industry.

“Wisconsin dairy farmers are losing money each time they walk into the barn, because the flood of milk on the market has driven the price lower than what it costs to produce it. No government bailout or new trade deal is going to solve that problem.  We need a federal framework for bringing milk production in line with demand, and the longer the federal government puts off doing this, the more equity our farms will lose,” said Von Ruden.

Agricultural Financial Advisor (AGFA) data from 2017 showed that the average farm lost $1.04 per hundredweight of milk produced. The USMCA trade deal may provide some additional market for U.S dairy products, but without supply management there is no guarantee that prices will come up to reduce the losses farmers are facing every day.

Von Ruden also noted that the USMCA fails to achieve two other important Fair Trade priorities.  “First, the agreement does not provide for Country of Origin Labeling for U.S. meat products, which is supported by 90 percent of Americans,” said Von Ruden. “Second, the USMCA fails to eliminate the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.  ISDS allows multinational corporations to overturn U.S. laws that might reduce their profits.   ISDS prioritizes the profits of multinational corporations over the needs of U.S. citizens, and is a direct affront to U.S. sovereignty.”

Source: The Wheeler Report

Fire Destroys Barn Killing 47 cows on 200-year-old New York Dairy Farm

A fast-moving fire destroyed a barn and 47 cows at a historic Hudson Valley farm that has been in the area since 1770.


Firefighters were called to the scene at about 7:30 p.m. at 3195 Route 82. When firefighters arrived, they found the 200-year-old farm in flames, according to a GoFundMe page that also said the family lost the majority of their milk cows as the fire burned down their barn and the cows were trapped inside.

Photographer Michael Molinski was driving north on Route 82 on his way back from a photography shoot when he spotted the blaze as he crested the hill before the farm.

Molinski pulled over, grabbed his phone and dialed 911. He got out of his car and tried to help anyone who might be inside and he heard the sound of dozens of cows bellowing inside, he said.

“It was hard to take it all in,” Molinski said. “It was a horrible scene. You can tell there was so much pain happening inside the barn.”

Dozens of nearby farmers in the community offered their support on social media for the Miller family, who own the farm.

“Our hearts are breaking tonight for our friends and neighbors at Millerhurst Farm,” according to a statement from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy on Facebook. “This national bicentennial farm has been in their family since 1770. The farming community shares their grief on the loss of cows and their beautiful barn due to a fast-moving fire.”

A host of families, fellows farmers, and businesses in the community offered their support on social media for the Miller family, who own the farm, including the Columbia Land Conservancy who called for donations: “We’re really heartbroken to hear about this tragedy at Millerhurst Farm – please consider doing what you can to support them,” they said.

Other’s also took to Facebook the owners of Ronnybrook Farm.

“Our hearts are breaking tonight for our friends and neighbors at Millerhurst Farm,” according to a statement from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy on Facebook. “This national bicentennial farm has been in their family since 1770. The farming community shares their grief on the loss of cows and their beautiful barn due to a fast-moving fire.”

According to an article in the New York Times from 1987, the 350-acre farm, has been run by the Miller family since 1770 and is believed to be one of the oldest in the state.

The family said they have been able to hold on, despite the decline in agribusiness due to it being run by the family.

To date, the GoFundMe page has raised almost $28,000 of a $20,000 goal.

Irish farmer donates his last dairy cow to Rwandan family and it has helped to change lives

A farmer from East Kerry has seen first-hand the joy and positivity that his simple act of kindness had on a family in Rwanda.

A few years ago, Tim Moynihan gifted the last cow on his dairy farm to a family in Rwanda and after travelling to Africa with Bóthar, he has seen the transformative effect that this generosity had on the local community.

Tim, from Gneeveguilla, Kerry, gave up dairy farming six years ago and rather than sell his last cow, he decided to donate it through Bóthar to a family near Rwamagana in east Rwanda.

The single cow is just one of an ever growing ‘Bóthar’ herd that is transforming the lives of families across Rwanda – a nation that was savaged by the fastest killing spree in the history of the world almost 25 years ago when up to a million people were killed in its 90-day genocide.

Bóthar has been sending Irish dairy cows and other food-and-income producing animals such as goats, pigs and sheep to Rwanda. The organisation also has projects elsewhere in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.

The cow that was donated by Mr Moynihan has provided a family in Rwanda with a daily source of nutrition that they otherwise would not have received.


Aside from this, the proceeds from the cow’s excess milk and the sale of any calves born to her have enabled this family to educate their children and buy land.

After seeing the difference that the cow has made in the lives of this family, Tim said: “I never dreamt in my life I’d ever again see that cow. I think she recognised me. We took a photograph of that cow before she left the farm and I have that photograph at home. The calf is the spit of her mother, star on the forehead and the stripe on the shoulder.”

Looking back on the charitable donation and the reasons for making it, he said: “My farm is situated in East Kerry. And we milked cows there all my life. And when we decided to give up the cows, we went into suckling. We said we’d donate this heifer to a country that would need it more, and this was the last heifer to come from my farm. I’m delighted. Couldn’t be happier that I made this donation. I would over and over again.”

The donation of Irish cows, which have a yield six times that of the best local cows, have transformed the lives of an estimated 1,000 plus families. Bóthar heifers arrive in calf, with each recipient family agreeing to pass on the first-born female calf to her to another family.

Bóthar returns each year to re-impregnate the cows, so the cycle continues.

Prior to being given a heifer, each family undergoes a six-month programme of training in animal husbandry, water-harvesting and basic horticulture practices.

Here’s hoping that this excellent work and generosity continues.



Cows To Cars? It’s Happening

Creating a highway humming with hydrogen cars has been a dream of scientists, policymakers and environmentalists for decades. Today, thanks to the dairy cow, we are closer than ever to making it a reality.

One of the biggest hurdles in creating hydrogen fuel until now has been the enormous amount of fossil fuel-based energy it takes to extract hydrogen from water or hydrocarbons.

Most hydrogen fuel is produced via steam methane reforming where natural gas reacts with steam in a catalytic converter to produce hydrogen gas as well as carbon dioxide. Water electrolysis, another highly utilized process, uses an electric current to separate H2O into hydrogen and oxygen gas, but it too, requires significant amounts of fossil-fuel derived electricity.

Exit the Cow

It’s well known that dairy cows contribute significantly to methane (a very potent greenhouse gas) release, both from their burps and management of their manure. as waste exits their systems, and some dairy farms have installed anaerobic digesters to capture and use as renewable energy. Inside the digester’s airless tank, organic matter is converted into biogas, which in turn can fuel combustion engines to power the farm or grid.

However, biogas does not have to power a generator. Thanks in large part to California’s emission reduction targets, a financial market is developing for biogas, scrubbed of impurities, to be injected straight into natural gas pipelines as a renewable equivalent to fossil natural gas. One use for this renewable natural gas (RNG) is an input to generate hydrogen gas. While the above-described process has not changed to produce hydrogen, the CO2 emission reductions from this renewable approach are significant.

Enter The Car

Toyota has gone all in with its efforts to take hydrogen gas—sorry—the last mile to zero emissions. Their innovation is to pump the renewable natural gas directly into a fuel cell, which is like a giant battery. This battery, though, generates both hydrogen and electricity, as well as the heat and water to catalyze the reaction.

Not all of hydrogen’s hurdles are solved. For example, there are only 39 hydrogen fueling stations across the United States, and of those, 35 are in California. Hundreds more are required before Americans invest in cars dependent upon this new technology.

Consumers will also presumably want to fuel their cars for less than $5.60 per gallon, the current cost of hydrogen fuel. Additionally, America is far behind the curve when it comes to capturing methane to create biogas. Europe, for example, had 12,496 animal waste digesters in 2016 compared to the 281 in the U.S. as of April 2018.

With the right policies encouraging methane capture from cows, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory calculates that 486,000 metric tons of hydrogen or 477 million gasoline gallon equivalents could be generated annually from dairy digesters throughout the U.S—enough to supply the annual fuel needs of nearly 730,000 U.S. drivers.

With General Motors and Honda partnering to bring their hydrogen model to market to compete with Toyota, the potential is there for huge advances in a hydrogen fuel economy, relying in part on our nation’s dairy cows to commit to their duties on a daily basis.

Source: Regenis

Farmers to plead guilty in organic grain fraud scheme

Three Nebraska farmers will plead guilty to knowingly marketing non-organic corn and soybeans as certified organic as part of a lengthy, multi-million-dollar fraud scheme, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday.

Tom Brennan, his son James Brennan and family friend Michael Potter have each agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud. Their plea hearings are scheduled for Friday in federal court in Cedar Rapids

Prosecutors allege the three conspired with the owner of a large Iowa-based company to dupe customers nationwide who thought they were buying grains that had been grown using environmentally sustainable practices.

All three operated an organic farm in Overton, Nebraska, that was certified through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, which requires crops to be grown without the use of fertilizers, sewage sludge and other substances. They also farmed other fields that weren’t certified.

From 2010 through 2017, the trio sold non-organic grain directly to customers and to an Ossian, Iowa-based company, which is identified in court papers only as “J.S.” and as being owned by an unidentified co-conspirator. They knew the grain was mostly non-organic because it came from non-certified fields or from certified fields where they applied pesticides and nitrogen in violation of USDA standards, prosecutors contend in court documents. Any organic grain was mixed with non-organic grain, rendering all of it non-organic.

Court documents indicate that the Brennans and Potter are cooperating, signaling that additional charges may be forthcoming against the owner of “J.S.” Prosecutors said in court documents that the certification for the Nebraska farm was owned by “J.S.” and would have been revoked had its third-party certifier known of the chemicals that were used.

Holly Logan, an attorney for James Brennan, declined to comment. USDA records show that he voluntarily surrendered an organic certification last month. Attorneys for the other two defendants didn’t immediately reply to messages.

The charges were praised by the Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog group that has been critical of the USDA for being too lenient with producers who violate its standards.

Violations are typically handled through USDA enforcement action that can bring fines, revocations and bans, and federal criminal charges are rare, said the group’s director, Mark Kastel.

He said the prosecution will send a message to farmers who may have the opportunity to profit by defrauding the growing organic market.

“These large-scale problems have an impact on the entire market and the reputation of the organic label. It’s really very fortuitous that the prosecution is taking place,” he said. “We want these cases to act as a really strong deterrent. They are not the rule. They are the exception. Now that this is almost a $50 billion industry, it’s so lucrative. Fraud opportunities exist.”

Victims of organic fraud include farmers who buy grain to feed their animals so they can market their meat and milk under the organic label and the consumers who pay a premium for those products, Kastel said. Fraud in U.S. grown crops is believed to be a much smaller problem than those imported from abroad from countries like Turkey, he said.

Each defendant received more than $2.5 million for grain marketed as organic during the scheme, and prosecutors say they are seeking the forfeiture of at least $10.9 million. Wire fraud carries up to 20 years in prison, but the three would be expected to face far less prison time under federal sentencing guidelines. Details of their plea agreements have not been made public.


Massachusetts farm reeling from silo collapse that killed one cow trapped thirteen

The owners of Cherry Hill Farm in Lunenburg farm are trying to recover after a silo full of grain collapsed onto the dairy barn Sunday morning, killing one cow and trapping 13 calves.

Sharon Kimball, whose parents own the farm, said it was “amazing” that no workers were hurt when the silo gave way.

One cow died, but the rest of the animals made it out of the barn safely. Sixty-three milking cows and other animals had to be relocated, she said.

She said her parents, Douglas and Marilyn MacMillan, are in their 80s and doing “as well as can be expected.”

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“It was a major shock, obviously,” she said. “We are just currently assessing the situation and moving forward.”

Lunenburg police and firefighters responded to the farm on Leominster Road shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday and found that a large concrete silo containing grain had collapsed onto the face of the main barn, authorities said.

Most of the herd was out in the field, but one cow was seriously injured in the collapse and had to be euthanized, fire officials said in a press release.

Thirteen calves remained trapped inside the barn, and a tech rescue team was dispatched to the scene.

Lunenburg Fire Chief Patrick Sullivan said once they shored up an exit for the young calves, “they coaxed them out with hay,” and guided them out to safety.

It was “certainly an unusual situation,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the cause of the silo collapse is still under investigation, but preliminary findings suggest that a drainage system in the silo became plugged up and rainwater built up in the silo, which ultimately caused it to break.

Someone from the farm was inside the barn just before the silo broke, he said.

“They heard a noise, creaking and cracking,” he said.

The sounds created by the reinforced metal bands around the silo was the warning signal that something bad was about to happen. It provided a 15 to 20 minute window for the animals to be evacuated, he said.

“They were able to get animals out before it came down,” said Sullivan. “They’re very fortunate that they only lost one.”

Sullivan said the farm is now trying to save the hay and salvage as much of the barn as possible. “It’s got a lot of structural damage,” he said.

What happens next remains to be seen.

“They’re working on what the next steps are going to be,” he said.

It’s not the first time that a disaster has struck Cherry Hill Farm, which has been operating since 1951. The last time was in the early 1990s, when a barn caught on fire. According to the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, a newborn calf perished in the Nov. 22, 1993 blaze, which caused $200,00 in damage.

Kimball said that same barn is the one that was damaged by the silo.

“It damaged the barn so much that it’s no longer usable,” she said.

Kimball said her family is thankful for the “overwhelming outpouring of support” they’re received thus far from the town, local residents, and fellow dairy farmers. Well-wishers have provided food and have been there to listen, and dairy farmers offered to help care for their milking cows, she said. The Lunenburg Turkey Hill Family Lions Club also announced on Facebook that it would be collecting money to “assist Cherry Hill Farm in their efforts going forward.”

Jim Lattanzi, the owner of Hollis Hills Farm in Fitchburg, said as soon as he heard about the accident, he headed over to Lunenburg.

“It was quite the mess,” Lattanzi said. “I was relieved nobody was hurt.”

Lattanzi got on the phone and contacted other farmers, and helped coordinate extra cattle trailers to relocate the cows at Cherry Hill Farm. The dairy cows were ultimately split up among four area farms so they could continue on their milking schedule, he said. “Dairy cows need to be milked twice a day,” he explained.

Lattanzi himself took on the 13 calves that had been trapped in the barn after the silo collapsed, as well as 11 other young heifers that were rescued from a part of the barn that wasn’t damaged.

Lattanzi said the community wants to help Cherry Hill Farm get through this.

“It speaks to who the MacMillans are as a family, and it speaks to who farmers are,” he said. “Farmers help each other.”

Sullivan said Cherry Hill Farm is one of the last dairy farms in Lunenburg.


Nestle launches A2 baby formula challenging The a2 Milk Company

Nestle’s new baby formula brand Nan A2, is launching in Australia in October and New Zealand in November.

The world’s biggest infant formula maker Nestle is launching its own brand of A2-only baby formula in Australia and New Zealand as it looks to muscle in on the dominant position of high-growth stock, The a2 Milk Company.

While many dairy makers have held back from selling products that only have the A2 beta-casein protein, perhaps sceptical about its benefits and cautious of undermining their regular milk sales, a2 Milk has proved to be a huge growth story. Revenue has surged from $NZ62.5 million in 2011-12 to $NZ923 million in 2017-18. The company’s market capitalisation has swelled to more than $7 billion.

Now the Swiss giant wants in on the space and is launching its NAN A2 brand in Coles and online in Australia this week. It has plans to sell its S-26 Atwo brand in New Zealand in November at select Countdown stores and online.

A2 milk contains all of the proteins found in standard cows’ milk except for the A1 beta-casein protein. Proponents of A2-only milk say the A1 protein causes indigestion.

This major push by Nestle comes on the back of its launch into China in February with its Illuma Atwo formula brand. The NZ and China formula products are Wyeth Nutrition brands, while the Australian product is labelled Nestle Nutrition.

‘The original manuscript’

Tarun Malkani, Nestle’s global business head for Wyeth Nutrition, told The Australian Financial Review it is still early days in China but it is performing to expectations, while Australia is also an important market.

“We are going to win [market share] on the strength of the brand,” he said. “It comes down to the power of the brand. In this case it happens to be the A2 offering, but its still about the brand.

“The A2 beta-casein protein is the original form of protein before cows were domesticated thousands of years ago. And now cows have both the A1 and A2 proteins. So we are going back to the original manuscript.

“But at the end of the day we have to make sure consumers have a choice. This is a viable lead in the market and consumers have asked for it, so we have a responsibility to give them an option along with the other options in our portfolio.”

The company offers product from starter formulas to toddler milks and cereals.

Citi analyst Sam Teeger said Nestle backed-Wyeth had the largest share of the infant formula market on Chinese e-commerce platforms in 2017 of about 10 per cent, making its entry into the A2-protein category currently dominated by the Jayne Hrdlicka-run a2 as significant.

Another analyst said there will be some nerves around this Australian A2 launch but a2 Milk has a first-mover advantage and “premium platinum status.”

“[For] top brands like a2 and Aptimil, it appears very hard to get product Australia-wide right now,” Mr Teeger said.

Consumer demand

The a2 Platinum baby formula was launched late in 2013 and is the No.1 Australian infant formula with a market share of 36 per cent, according to the company. But it is Chinese mothers who have fanned the company’s success further. China has one of the world’s lowest breastfeeding rates.

Mr Malkani said early success in China had confirmed demand for the product and underlined the decision to expand into new markets. “This gives us reason to believe this is not a gimmicky flash in the pan,” he said. “This is something consumers have a need for and that is why we have taken the step to go outside China to other markets.”

Mr Malkani is mulling the entry of A2 product in the United States, along with other countries. “If we believe the dynamics in the market suggest that A2 is a viable option, then we will put the energy behind this,” he said.

Mr Malkani said he along with all other baby formula makers are awaiting more detailed news from Beijing around China’s new e-commerce law set to come into effect on January 1.

At the end of August the Chinese government passed a new law providing the framework to e-commerce trade covering operators, contracts, dispute resolution and promotion for domestic and cross-border transactions (CBEC). The law covers larger platforms such as Alibaba’s Taobao but also those selling goods via social networks like WeChat.

“Certainly China is very important to us,” Mr Malkani said. “We recognise the government wants to ensure their growing e-commerce channels are operating appropriately. We don’t have any specific details now of this law, I don’t believe anyone does. But we appreciate the importance of it and we will monitor it closely.”

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Meet the U.S. farmers who love Trump’s China trade war

American farmers are livid with President Trump’s tariffs. But not garlic growers. Reeling after a quarter-century-long war with Chinese garlic farmers, they are thrilled with a trade war that they say could finally give them the advantage on U.S. turf.

Why it matters: Chances are if you’re cooking with garlic (or, less commonly, using it medicinally), it’s from China, which has an iron grip on the U.S. market, controlling more than 90% of the dried garlic trade and killing many American garlic farms. U.S. farmers think Trump’s new 10% tariff could bring them back to life.

There is a “garlic war that has crowded out U.S. farmers,” says Eric Block, a University at Albany professor who has studied garlic for more than 30 years. Pricing pressure from cheaper Chinese garlic has caused a lot of of U.S. farms to scale back production, or shut down completely.

By the numbers: How the price difference ripples through the market can be seen in San Francisco, where the current price of a 30-pound carton of Chinese-grown white garlic is $38–$40, compared with $68 for U.S.-grown garlic, according to the USDA.

Ken Christopher, who runs Christopher Ranch, the largest U.S. garlic producer in Gilroy, California, says that even though the tariff will not equal out the prices, the penalty will make it less profitable for Chinese growers and “it will make an impact, when you’re dealing in millions of pounds of garlic.”

  • The U.S. is the world’s largest garlic importer, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, accounting for 339 million pounds of garlic in 2017. It is also the world’s largest consumer.
  • Cheaper labor, less regulation and overall lower production costs all allow Chinese growers to undercut most of its global garlic rivals. Pricing pressure from cheaper Chinese garlic has caused a lot of U.S. farms to scale back production, or shut down completely.

How they got here

U.S. troubles with Chinese garlic have a deep history. It’s been a three-generation fight, says Christopher, the grower in Gilroy, which calls itself the “garlic capital of the U.S.”

  • Christopher’s grandfather, Don Christopher, was among domestic producers who in 1994 successfully lobbied the government to impose a 377% “antidumping and countervailing” duty on garlic imports.

But China got around those taxes, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which in 2016 found that China’s growers were not paying the duties in full.

  • By the early 2000s, Christopher began selling Chinese-imported garlic, too.
  • “Wholesalers demanded the cheapest products,” said Christopher.
  • Trump’s tariffs will “change the entire game for garlic farmers,” he says, because the tariff will be collected in advance, confounding the past “duty invasion schemes.”

Not everyone is so confident.

  • Louis Hymel, a 50-year employee of Spice World, which packages garlic imported from China, Mexico and Argentina, said the tariffs won’t change the way the company does business.
  • McCormick Spices said the tariffs will drive up the costs of their seasonings, CNN reported last month.

Moo-ve over Smirnoff: This Ontario distillery is making vodka out of cow’s milk

After seeing the amount of skim milk that goes to waste from dairy farms, an Ontario distillery has found a way to produce vodka from cow’s milk.

Omid McDonald, right, the founder of Dairy Distillery, works with Neal McCarten, left, to create vodka made from cow’s milk. (Submitted by Omid McDonald)According to Omid McDonald, vodka made from cow’s milk looks like any other vodka, except that it has “absolutely no burn, a sweet smell and a caramel-y finish.”

McDonald is the founder of Dairy Distillery in Almonte, Ont., and for the past couple of years, he’s been working his new creation, which he’s named Vodkow.

“It’s a very smooth experience,” McDonald told As It Happens host Carol Off.

“You could mix it with all of your favourite cocktails. But what people are telling us is that it’s good to sip on its own, which is pretty rare in a vodka.”

The idea of Vodkow was born out of a conversation McDonald had with his wife’s cousin, Neal McCarten, who grew up around his uncle’s dairy farm.

McCarten had mentioned that skim milk was being wasted due to excess production and unwanted components.

Making Vodkow

McDonald, who had always been interested in how alcohol is made, asked if it was possible to make alcohol out of the leftovers.

He eventually reached a deal with dairy company Parmalat to use its unwanted milk permeate — what is left behind from milk after the fats and proteins are taken out to make products such as ice cream, cheese and butter.

Vodkow is produced out of the Dairy Distillery, a distillery based in Almonte, Ont. (Submitted by Omid McDonald)Permeate contains lactose, or milk sugar, but McDonald said companies often dump it because they have very little use for it.

As a result, McDonald said the unwanted milk permeate ends up becoming both an environmental and a financial problem, because farmers have to pay to safely dispose of it.

“I don’t like to call it a waste, but it’s something that’s being wasted right now,” McDonald said.

In order to create alcohol out of the milk permeate, McDonald worked with the University of Ottawa’s biology department to find a yeast that can consume lactose and produce alcohol.

After finding the right kind of yeast to make the vodka, McDonald and McCarten teamed up to scale up production of the product, and Vodkow was born.


People who are lactose intolerant don’t need to worry if they want to get a shot of Vodkow, McDonald said. 

“The yeast will cleave the lactose into their basic sugars and then eat those sugars. So there is absolutely no lactose in the final product,” he said.

He added that Vodkow tastes great on its own, on ice or mixed with other drinks. Some cocktails — or “moo-tinis” — can also include cream liqueurs and White Russians.

While McDonald acknowledges that the product he’s making is unlike any other on the market right now, he encourages other dairy farmers and distillers to follow suit.

McCarten makes Vodkow from a yeast that can consume lactose. (Submitted by Omid McDonald)He said that many dairy farmers are feeling pressure due to the new trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

If the alcohol industry considers using milk in its products, McDonald said could be a significant source of revenue for dairy farmers.

“Right now the alcohol industry, other than us, purchase nothing from the dairy industry,” McDonald said.

“We hope more people will start making use of this lactose, which is currently being wasted. So we will see it as a positive thing if other people also started working with milk-based spirits.”


Controversial large-scale dairy proposal back on the table in Newton County Georgia

A Google map image shows the 2,500-acre farm at 4500 W. County Road 400 North in Newton County where Texas-based Natural Prairie Dairy has proposed a new 4,350-cow operation. A number of residents have opposed the plan, saying it could pollute the water in their wells, adversely affect their property values and hamper efforts to draw in more tourists to nearby public lands. Provided by De Jong family spokesman Charlie Stone

The Texas-based company behind a controversial plan for a large-scale organic dairy in Newton County submitted a new permit application last week to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

The De Jong family withdrew its initial permit application for Natural Prairie Dairy in May, after facing strong opposition from the community.

Though IDEM approved the De Jongs’ first permit in October 2017, the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication dealt Natural Prairie Dairy a legal setback last spring by declining to dismiss a resident’s appeal of IDEM’s decision.

The family has been growing alfalfa and various grasses and applying natural fertilizer such as manure at its 2,500-acre property at 4500 W. County Road 400 North near Lake Village for more than three years, said Will De Jong, farm manager and nephew of company owners Donald and Cheri De Jong.

Natural Prairie Dairy wants to house 4,250 dairy cows and 100 dairy calves at the site, records show.

“This same land has been successfully farmed conventionally for over 100 years,” De Jong said. “But as organic dairy farmers, we will not use any pesticides, herbicides and GMOS, and we will be replacing the row crops with organic pasture grass.”

However, it’s the proposed dairy’s waste stream that has residents concerned.

Hoosier Environmental Council, which is representing several residents, said in legal filings the dairy’s previous proposals related to the handling of waste failed to protect human health and the environment.

Kim Ferraro, senior staff attorney with the Hoosier Environmental Council, said Friday she was still reviewing the dairy’s latest proposal.

Thomas Vanes, a member of the steering committee for the group Protect the Kankakee River Basin, referred questions about the new application to Ferraro.

IDEM said it has 90 days to make a decision on Natural Prairie Dairy’s proposal, and there will be a 33-day public comment period.

A lawsuit filed by the Hoosier Environmental Council on behalf of several residents also is pending in Newton County court. The residents want a judge to order the Newton County Board of Zoning Appeals to schedule a public hearing and rescind the special exception it issued to Natural Prairie Dairy in March 2017.

50 million gallons of waste a year

The number of cows the dairy is proposing remains unchanged.

During a meeting in June attended by more than 100 residents, Ferraro said 4,350 cows would produce more than 50 million gallons of waste a year and emit more than 700 pounds of ammonia daily.

“You have a (confined animal feeding operation) that is being proposed in the most ill-conceived site I have ever seen,” said Ferraro, who also represented Valparaiso-area residents in a recent battle against a different confined feeding operation.

The Natural Prairie Dairy property sits entirely in the bed of the former Beaver Lake, which was once the largest natural lake in Indiana, according to a technical review prepared for the Hoosier Environmental Council.

Beaver Lake was drained from 1871 to 1880, as the Beaver Lake Ditch to the Kankakee River was constructed. The area remains wet, with seasonal inundation just below the surface and frequent surface ponding, the review states.

Residents fear polluted water from the dairy could flow into the Kankakee River via two ditches and pollute the groundwater that feeds the private wells from which they draw water for drinking, cooking and bathing. They also worry the smell and flies associated with a large dairy operation could adversely affect their property values.

In addition, any degradation of air and water quality could hamper efforts to draw tourists to several nearby protected public lands.

The Nature Conservancy promotes its Kankakee Sands property, which is located to the east and south of the De Jongs’ proposed confined feeding operation, as “a 7,000-acre jewel in progress.”

Hunters and fishermen frequent the Willow Slough Indiana Fish and Wildlife Area, which is farther south and owned by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Family: Farm not in floodway

In legal filings, the Hoosier Environmental Council said IDEM granted approval of the dairy’s initial proposal in violation of several statutes intended to protect the quality of surface and groundwater.

Natural Prairie Dairy’s new application states its waste management system will be in compliance with some of the statutes cited by Hoosier Environmental Council.

“Pursuant to IDEM regulations, our family organic farm is not located in a 100-year floodplain and/or floodway, and all barns and waste management facilities are two feet above the seasonal high water table,” DeJong said.

The company plans to install a Janicki Bioenergy advanced vapor recompression unit, which is a processor that “separates solid and liquid fractions of dairy manure to produce clean water, dried solids, and a concentrated aqueous ammonia fertilizer solution.”

When asked if the technology has been successfully employed anywhere else at the scale contemplated at the Newton County site, De Jong replied, “This technology has been tested with human waste and indeed works (just ask Bill Gates).”

The family planned to install and test the technology at its organic dairy in Texas before using it in Newton County, he said.


13 calves rescued after silo collapses onto barn in Lunenburg, Massachusetts

A silo full of grain collapsed onto a barn in Lunenburg, trapping 13 calves and leading to the death of one cow.

Crews responding to Cherry Hill Farm on Leominster Road around 11 a.m. discovered that the silo tore the main barn in half.

One cow was struck by the debris and was euthanized by employees before first responders arrived, police said.

The other 13 cows were trapped in an area of the barn that had been severely damaged by the fall, according to officials.

Fire officials determined the building too hazardous to enter and sought assistance from the district eight technical rescue team.

When the team arrived, they immediately began the two-hour long process of stabilizing the structure and safely removing the remaining cows.

No one was injured in the rescue.

The owner of the farm are currently looking for temporary lodgings for their animals.

The incident remains under investigation.

Source:  7 News Boston

WFU calls for dose of reality in trade deal response

The Wisconsin Farmers Union in statement clarified the actual impact that the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal will have on the U.S. dairy industry. The U.S. Trade Representative reports that the deal would open the door for an additional $560 million worth of U.S. dairy products to enter the Canadian market duty-free. That is about 1.5 percent of the total value of U.S. dairy production.

“A 1.5 percent increase in dairy products sold is not going to be the salvation of our dairy industry,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden. Von Ruden, who dairy farms in Westby, noted that the U.S. has increased domestic dairy production in 18 of the last 20 years, by about 1.5 percent each year.

“This small increase in sales to Canada may not even offset our own domestic production increase this year, not to mention where we’ll be at two or three or 10 years down the road,” Von Ruden said. “We need to exercise some discipline on our own side of the border rather than looking for salvation outside our borders.”

Von Ruden reiterated WFU’s longstanding call for a federal policy mechanism to balance supply and demand in the dairy industry.

“Wisconsin dairy farmers are losing money each time they walk into the barn, because the flood of milk on the market has driven the price lower than what it costs to produce it. No government bailout or new trade deal is going to solve that problem. We need a federal framework for bringing milk production in line with demand, and the longer the federal government puts off doing this, the more equity our farms will lose,” he said.

Agricultural Financial Advisor data from 2017 showed that the average farm lost $1.04 per hundredweight of milk produced. The USMCA trade deal may provide some additional market for U.S dairy products, but without supply management, there is no guarantee that prices will come up to reduce the losses farmers are facing every day.

Von Ruden also noted that the USMCA fails to achieve two other important fair trade priorities: “First, the agreement does not provide for Country-of-Origin Labeling for U.S. meat products, which is supported by 90 percent of Americans. Second, the USMCA fails to eliminate the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism. ISDS allows multinational corporations to overturn U.S. laws that might reduce their profits. ISDS prioritizes the profits of multinational corporations over the needs of U.S. citizens and is a direct affront to U.S. sovereignty.”

Cows Fans of Calvin Harris; Produce Award-winning Cheese

A dairy farm in Cheshire that supplies Asda supermarkets with award-winning cheese has revealed that the tantalising tracks of Calvin Harris are the key to its success. The DJ’s music makes its cows happier, meaning they produce better quality milk and therefore better-quality cheese.

Joseph Heler in Nantwich has supplied Asda stores across the North West & Midlands regions with its award-winning cheeses, produced with milk by cows living on the Cheshire Plain, for the last ten years.

Its Cheshire Cheese, Double Gloucester and Blackstone Cheddar all won Gold at the 2018 International Cheese Awards and its high quality can be credited to how the farmers treat the cows.

The cows have their hooves manicured, are given special mattresses to sleep on and even listen to music to help them feel more relaxed and produce better milk – with their favourite tunes by DJ hit maker, Calvin Harris.

Farmers have started playing the DJ’s music in the parlours during milking to help keep the cows happy and relaxed – a recognized ‘cow comfort’ technique – and because they are happier and less stressed, the farmer credits the superior quality of milk to the DJ.

What started as a one-off experiment has become a daily routine. From ‘This is What Moo Came For’ featuring Rihanna to ‘Thinking About Moo’ featuring Dua Lipa, the cows listen to an array of Cow-vin Harris albums on a daily basis – with their milk later transformed at the dairy into award-winning varieties of cheese.

Mark Thornton, the dairy’s Farm Manager explains: “We pamper their cows because, quite simply, happy cows give more better-quality milk. In addition to feeding them well, keeping the temperature comfortable and giving them space to move around; the cows enjoy a few extra luxuries, which in turn also helps to increase the quality of milk they produce.

“It seems their favourite songs are by Calvin Harris, whose tunes seem to hit the spot with the cows so they have been listening to his albums religiously the past few weeks. It just shows the lengths we will go to in making sure our cows receive the very best care possible.”

David Wells, Marketing Manager for the dairy adds: “We are Cheshire through-and-through and our relationship with Asda has gone from strength-to-strength over the last decade. Asda recognise how important regionally sourced products are – because it’s what customers want and because they help support local communities.

“We are really proud of our recent award wins and we believe the quality of our cheese is deserving of the international recognition it’s received. In the last 12 months we’ve seen a real resurgence of interest and appreciation in locally made ‘craft cheeses’ like ours, which is comparable to the popularity that artisan gin and craft beers have experienced in recent times.

“We’re going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing brilliantly for a long time now, but we are always learning and looking to improve – so if that means making a few modern tweaks to keep our cows happy and our milk top quality, then we’ll do it!!”


October 12 – A Day to Recognize Farmers

October 12 may be National Farmer’s Day, but I cannot quite bring myself to say “Happy Farmer’s Day”. I do not know too many happy farmers.

I know a lot of suffering farmers, farmers suffering from low prices and costs that exceed their income. I know a lot of persevering farmers, who in spite of the lack of profit and even the loss of equity, are laboring through the bad times. I know a lot of frustrated farmers because they don’t have any idea when they can expect prices to go up. I know a lot of tired farmers because they have let employees go, and do the work themselves to save money.

If the pain were a sudden sharp pain, farmers would bear it with hardly a whimper. But the low milk prices have gone on and on and on for four years straight. It has dulled some to the constant pain, but they feel it when they look into the eyes of their spouse and children and shake their head again.

Yet, to be a farmer is to be optimistic. Farmers plant in the spring and wait for the day when the shoots break the ground. They pray for rain and know that their crop depends on timely water. Harvest comes months after the planting and the saying goes that it is not a crop until it is harvested and in storage, for sometimes, rain seems to be endless at harvest time.

Maybe it is better said that farmers take the long view, a quality sorely lacking in today’s world. People have little patience and want results now, but farmers cannot speed up the crop. Sure, even farmers have cut time out of processes and out of down times in the lives of their cattle, even so, they are taking the long view.

Farmers take the long view because they have to keep things in perspective. Cattle health is the result of a lot of little things that are done regularly, things such as vaccination, good nutrition, clean beds and frequent sanitation. They take the long view on crops, understanding the need to add nutrients back to the soil to replace what they remove and to be builders of soil health.

They take the long view because they look across the dinner table at their sons and daughters who might want to carry on the family business and know that if they do, they are in for many sleepless nights. They look up on the wall and see the picture of the farm as grandpa and grandma had it, and another as it was during their parent’s time.

Even in these dark days, farmers maintain a pride of doing the best for their cows. They produce quality milk because they value quality milk, not because the market values it. They care for their cows with gentleness because the cows pay the bills, at least the bills that are getting paid right now. They still promote their products because the consumer really does need to know.

Their resiliency carries farmers. The encouragement and love of others helps them. The hope for a better future inspires them. Their faith undergirds them.

How much more can famers take? The answer will be different in each household, but in that of a friend of mine, he personalized that phrase and said it aloud as he read it in a farm magazine. Instantly, his 11 year-old daughter replied, “a lot more!” That alone is enough to go on for months!

So, as we approach National Farmers’ Day, I want to recognize the farmers who continue on in spite of the hardships. They continue to produce the food and fiber on which each of us depends. They do so without protests, without fanfare, without much to go on except their inner drive.

I am thankful for the quality and variety of food available. I am somewhat embarrassed to pay such a small portion of income for the world’s safest food, while the producers of it are hurting. But maybe it helps to say thank you to them, to the men and women, the boys and girls who call themselves a farmer. Thanks for all you do. Thanks for your hard work. I hope that soon you will be rewarded as you should be. Happy Farmers’ Day.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

Australian Government pushes to stop plant-based products labelled as ‘meat’ or ‘milk’

Plant-based products labelled “meat” or “milk” will have to be rebranded if the Federal Government is successful in lobbying for a change of food standards.

Regional Services Minister Bridget McKenzie will today ask a food regulation forum to back her bid to have Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) review terminology and crack down on imitation and so-called fake foods.

Senator McKenzie said products labelled meat and milk should only come from animals, like honey has to be a pure product from bees.

“I want consumers to have confidence that when they buy honey, it’s honey — when they buy meat, it’s beef from an animal and when they buy milk, it is actually produced by a dairy cow,” she said.

“I just want truth in labelling and consumers to have confidence that they are not being misled.”

Senator McKenzie said changes were needed to protect the reputation of Australian farmers and the products they produced.

She said farmers feared their businesses were at risk because shoppers often did not realise they were buying plant-based products, rather than products from animals.

But she insisted it was not a veiled attempt to stop the growth of plant-based products.

“I don’t have an issue at all with alternative sources of protein or plant-based diets,” Senator McKenzie said.

She said as an increasing number of consumers were not eating animal products because of allergies or philosophical beliefs, “that’s their decision but we need to be careful [we] don’t confuse the marketplace and we still protect the reputation, hard earned by our clean, green farmers”.

The meeting in Adelaide will bring together food ministers from across Australia and New Zealand.

In April, France banned the use of meat and dairy-related terms on vegan and vegetarian plant-based alternatives.

In the US, Missouri became the first state to pass a law preventing food producers from marketing products as meat, if the food did not come from harvested livestock or poultry.

Federal National Party politicians have been vocal critics of plant-based protein products being labelled as mince.

Queensland senator Barry O’Sullivan went further and called for plant-based products called mince to be stripped from shelves and re-labelled.

Senator McKenzie said new regulations should also govern how plant-based products were marketed within supermarkets.

“I think people have been very, very clever with the marketing of these products,” Senator McKenzie said.

“I think it says something about the reputation of the original that those that are seeking to fake it want to be seen in the same place of the supermarket, using the same language — indeed even dying the product so it looks like the original.

“I think we need to be backing the original product and making sure it can carve out a unique space in the marketplace and that should be protected.”


Source: ABC News

UK Team Announced for Cremona 2018

The Open Junior Show in Cremona in Italy will welcome four talented and ambitious Holstein Young Breeders who have been selected to represent Holstein UK later this month. 

The team of two senior and two junior competitors includes:

  • Senior Competitors: Laura Cornthwaite and Alison Hunter
  • Junior Competitors: Laura Barrett and Elliot Jackson

Meet the Team

The annual Open Junior Show takes place from Wednesday 24th– Saturday 27thOctober and gains international recognition for its clipping, showmanship and stock judging competitions.  Over 40 competitors from across Europe will travel to Cremona to demonstrate their skills and knowledge whilst competing on an international stage.  The event also offers a fantastic networking opportunity and the chance to socialise with like-minded individuals.  The competition, run by ANAFI, takes place during the 67thItalian National Holstein & Jersey Show.

On arrival, members are assigned a heifer ready for clipping, showing and judging on the Thursday. On the Friday, competitors put their knowledge to the test with a technical quiz and Saturday sees them attend Italy’s prestigious National Holstein Show. Throughout the three days, competitors are scored with the overall scores rating the top spots and winners.

Senior Competitors 

Laura Cornthwaite (Shropshire HYB Club)

Twenty three year old Laura from Shropshire has been an HYB member for four years and works for Genus ABS as EMEA Marketing and Communications Assistant. Since becoming an HYB member Laura has been lucky to work with Knowlesmere Holsteins, and in 2017, she was Champion Showman at UK Dairy Expo, and Reserve Champion Showman at the All Breeds All Britain calf show, as well as leading the Champion Calf.  Being selected to represent the UK in Cremona is such an exciting opportunity to showcase all that Laura has learnt during her time in HYBwhilst meeting new people and seeing some amazing animals. Laura’s ultimate dream would be to breed and own a National Show winner with her boyfriend, Jason, of Eedy Holsteins.

Alison Hunter (Scotland HYB Club)

Alison has been involved with Scotland HYB for 11 years and her greatest HYB achievements include being placed second in 2017, first and Reserve Champion Handler at the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show 2014, along with being part of the very successful UK team at the previous European Holstein Show in Colmar, 2016. Alison works for Semex at their Head Office where she has recently become more involved in coloured breed proofs and providing customers with equipment for carrying out Elevate genomic testing.  She lives in Ayrshire with her partner who milks 500 predominantly pedigree Ayrshire cows between two farms. They have also started registering Holsteins using the Arranview prefix and hope to continue developing the herd for the future.

Junior Competitors 

Laura Barrett (Central Counties HYB Club)

From the age of eight, showing Holstein cattle has been a huge part of Laura’s life. Her family farm, the RettbarHolstein herdin Buckinghamshire, is second generation with Laura and her sister aiming to be the third generation to take forward the pedigree herd of 100 cows and 100 youngstock. Over the years, Laura has gained a lot of experience handling calves and her greatest achievements include being placed in the top four for her handling classes three times, and being awarded the HYB Little Star Award in 2017.  Currently studyingfor her A levels, her sight is set on going to Northampton University to study paramedic science and to train to become part of the NHS paramedic team, as well as continuing with her passion for dairy farming and showing. 

Elliot Jackson (Lancashire HYB Club)

A member of the Lancashire club since the age of four, Elliot is widely involved in the showing world.  He currently works full time on two dairy farms in Lancashire and his future aspiration is to continue dairying and grow his experience and expertise in the showing world.  His greatest achievements, to date, are winning the Junior Showmanship class at the 2013 All Breeds All Britain Calf Show and the Intermediate Showman title at the 2014 UK Dairy Expo.  Elliot, who will be a great team member, is looking forward to the trip so that he can further his experience and knowledge whilst competing on the European stage.

HannahWilliams, Head of Events & Marketing for Holstein UK, comments, “It is fantastic to yet again have a UK team being represented on the European stage at Cremona in Italy.  These four team members have excelled across all areas of HYB throughout recent events and are a credit to Holstein Young Breeders.  We wish them all the very best of luck in the competition and Holstein UK will be sharing team updates and results on the social media platforms whilst they are competing at Cremona.”

Murray Goulburn ASX-listed units in demand by investors

A SYDNEY investor has spent $15 million buying units in the Murray Goulburn Unit Trust during the past year.

Nordlys Investments Pty Ltd, an investment firm owned by Rodney and Jennifer Pryor, of Balmain, emerged as a significant investor in the MG Unit Trust on April 17 this year, when it declared it held 10.43 million units, or 5.01 per cent of the trust.

Nordlys spent $9.2 million for the units at an average of 88.6 cents, but would have received a return of about $8.3 million when Murray Goulburn paid an 80 cent distribution to shareholders and unit holders on May 15 from the sale proceeds of the company’s assets to Canadian dairy company Saputo Inc.

Cartoon: Chris Rule

In an announcement to the ASX on July 3, Murray Goulburn indicated unit holders and shareholders could expect to receive an extra 45-50c as net proceeds from the asset sale to Saputo, but much depended on how much left over after two class actions were determined in the courts.

One class action is set to go to trial on February 5, 2020, for an estimated four weeks.

No trial date has been set yet for the second class action.

On separate court action taken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Murray Goulburn said last month it remained in “confidential mediation discussions”.

During the past six months, Nordlys has spent another $5.8 million buying more than 22 million units at an average of 26.3 cents a unit.

It now holds 15 per cent of the Murray Goulburn units.

Mr Pryor is the sole director of Nordlys Investments and runs the investment operation out of a house in up-market Balmain.

The Weekly Times has been unable to contact the Pryors for comment.

Melbourne investor Robert Petersen has also continued his buying spree in recent months and now held nearly 10 per cent of the Murray Goulburn units.

Mr Petersen said he thought Murray Goulburn would eventually pay out 40-45c as a residual.

“That will be a reasonable return,” he said.

“You can buy them at 32 cents now.”

Mr Petersen said the court cases might take up to three years to reach finality.

“Even if you only get a 20 per cent return on investment after two years, it may not be a very good investment but you’re still in front.” he said.

Any claim arising from the information contained on the eDairy News website will be submitted to the jurisdiction of the Ordinary Courts of the First Judicial District of the Province of Córdoba, Argentine Republic, with a seat in the City of Córdoba, to the exclusion of any another jurisdiction, including the Federal.

Source: The Weekly Times

Ohio farmers come together, save more than 80 cows from barn fire

A group of farmers in Wauseon Ohio are getting credit for saving more than 80 cows from a barn fire over the weekend.

The owner said he woke up to a loud bang and called 9-1-1 and flames ripped through the barn.

Within an hour, five fire departments and around 40 area farmers were on the scene to help move the animals that were inside the barn.

All the cows are now being taken care of at different farms around the area.

More than a dozen cows die in Wisconsin barn fire

Ed Flood was asleep early Monday when flames began to tear through his cattle barn.

“One of the neighbors came yelling, ‘Your barn’s on fire,'” his wife, Mary, said Monday afternoon.

“He ran out the door in his underwear and tried to get the babies out.”

As he rushed to his barn around 1:30 a.m., dozens of volunteer firefighters from across the area descended on the Ellenburg Center Road farm to douse the spreading inferno and help rescue the trapped animals.


“It was fully involved when we got there,” Ellenburg Center Fire Chief Colin Wall said midday Monday.

“Most of the cows were outside, but there were cows and calves inside that we were able to get out.”

Of the estimated 70 cows housed at Flood Livestock farm, about 20 were inside when the fire broke out, Mrs. Flood said.

“They got the calves out. They’re in the backyard now, but two are having breathing problems and may have to be put down.”

She said roughly 15 animals perished in the blaze.


About 50 volunteers from the Ellenburg Center, Ellenburg Depot, Churubusco, Lyon Mountain, Dannemora, Mooers, Altona, Champlain, Chateaugay and Hemmingford fire departments worked to stifle the flames and provided support during the four-hour call.

As the firefighters tackled heavy flames and, later, a small rekindle, neighbors sprang into action to help the Floods.

Within hours, the surviving cattle were transported to a nearby farm, where they will be housed until they can be transported to Pennsylvania to be sold.


Thick, putrid smoke was still drifting from the devastation Monday afternoon as the Floods struggled with the emotional aftermath of the blaze.

“It’s taken a lot out of him,” Mrs. Flood said of her husband, as he tried to rest before heading off to milk his remaining cows.

“We’ve been here seven years, and there’s been a lot of tears.”

Utility crews were able to restore electrical power to the Floods’ residence by midafternoon as they waited for insurance adjusters to arrive and water to be rerouted into their home.

With only a severely charred portion of the milk house still standing, the barn is a total loss.

Their home, just yards away, was unscathed.

Officials were still investigating the cause as of Monday afternoon.



Irish dairy farmer pleads ‘not guilty’ to murdering neighbour

A north Kerry farmer has pleaded not guilty to the murder of another farmer at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Tralee, in a trial that is expected to last two weeks.

A jury of seven men and five women were sworn in yesterday and the trial is expected to get underway today in Tralee.

Michael Ferris, a 63-year-old farmer from Rattoo, Ballyduff pleaded not guilty to the murder of John Anthony O’Mahony of Ardoughter, Ballyduff April 4, 2017.


The prosecution is alleging that Mr Ferris, a dairy farmer, murdered 74-year-old John Anthony O’Mahony on the public road leading to Rattoo round tower at around 8am on the date, the court heard.

Presiding judge, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart, advised the jury to pay little or no attention to media coverage of the case.

She warned the jury not to discuss the case with anyone or do any research on it for the duration of the trial.

It is expected the case will last for two weeks and will hear from family members of both the accused and the deceased, neighbours, Gardai and medical experts, Tom Rice, prosecuting junior counsel outlined.

Mr Rice told the jury panel that the late John Anthony O’Mahony, a farmer, had lived in Ardoughter up to his death where he had a 40-acre farm. In the late 1980s he bought a 100 acres of land with his brother in Rattoo.

The court heard the accused, Mr Ferris is also a farmer and has a dairy farm in Rattoo, which he runs with his brother.

The trial is set to get underway today.


Harborough dairy farm installs milk vending machines for customers

We all know where milk comes from, don’t we boys and girls?

Caroline Barbour with the milk machines in Burton Overy.

That’s right – the supermarket. Typically, rather bland homogenised milk in one-litre plastic containers. 

It’s so cheap it puts UK dairy farmers out of business; more than a quarter have gone in the last decade. And it tastes… adequate.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The Barbour family, from Burton Overy, between Market Harborough and Leicester, does milk rather differently.

They want people to buy “real milk” directly from their farm – Kingarth Farm on Main Street, Burton Overy – on the left as you enter the village from the A6 side. Open 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.

And they’ve just invested in two “money in, milk out” Milk Vending machines, enabling the farm to sell their milk to the public in glass bottles.

“We’ve been selling milk from the farm for two years, but we’ve only just got the milk vending machines” said Caroline Barbour. 

“Now you can get milk from us in glass bottles, which can be recycled.

“But just taste our milk – that’s the key – and you’ll see it’s completely different from watery supermarket milk.”

The Barbour family have been milking cows at Kingarth Farm in Burton Overy for more than 100 years.

Fourth generation farmers Peter and Caroline Barbour started selling milk direct from the farm gate, partly in frustration at getting as little as 19p a litre from their milk buyer. 

“We started to bottle the milk ourselves in plastic bottles and sell it through an honesty box” said Caroline. 

The venture was an immediate success with sales now in excess of 120 litres per day.

It’s still a small per centage of the farm’s 3,000 litres a day.Much of it now goes to make Stilton cheese for Tuxford and Tebbutt in Melton Mowbray.

Kingarth milk is free-range, as the farm’s herd of a hundred pedigree Holstein milking cows graze outside for at least six months of the year.

Caroline said: “We pasteurise the milk on-farm but do not homogenise (it breaks down the fats in the milk) , so – unlike supermarket milk – the cream rises to the top. 

“This has many health benefits. It’s also very different from the milk you get in the supermarkets. We call it real milk”.

The farm produces whole milk, semi-skimmed and double cream all on sale in the “Milk Shop” which was the farm’s old bulk tank room before the new milking parlour was fitted four years ago.

Kingarth milk is never more than 24 hours old, said Caroline, and it is sold for £1.10 per litre.

It’s good for the customer, says Caroline, and good for the farm – because it’s up to 90p a litre more than they get from bulk selling.

The milk will keep for eight days from fresh, but can also be frozen.

“We sell Kingarth glass bottles for £1.50 in the Milk Shop” added Caroline. “We have sold over 1,000 of these already. Plastic containers are also available.

“Customers even bring their own containers to vend milk into.”

So buying from a local farm, say the farmers, is about reducing food miles, supporting local farmers, seeing where the milk comes from, and getting a better, fresher, free-range product.

Caroline said: “There is more awareness about where food comes from nowadays.

“Customers can see our cows when they come to buy milk, the fields they graze and their winter housing.” 


Source: Harborough Mail

Zoetis Enhances Rapid Response to Emerging Diseases

When Schmallenberg virus spread quickly across eight European countries, causing fever, diarrhea, and reduced milk yield in cattle, sheep and goats, Zoetis was swift to respond with Zulvac® SBV, the first vaccine centrally authorized in 2014 by the European Commission to help control the virus. With the recent re-emergence of the disease, Zulvac SBV remains the only centrally authorized vaccine available to help control it. In pregnant animals, the virus can infect the nervous system of the fetus, causing brain damage and skeletal defects, making the need for Zulvac SBV all the more important.  

Center for Transboundary and Emerging Diseases

Now, Zoetis is enhancing its capabilities to be “First to Know and Fast to Market” to help control outbreaks of infectious diseases, creating the Center for Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. The Center builds on the experience and momentum gained since Zoetis established its Emerging Infectious Disease Program in 2008 with the goal of rapidly responding to emerging infectious disease threats. The new Center operates virtually and serves as a coordinating hub, enabling Zoetis scientists to engage seamlessly and swiftly with leaders from across the company’s United States and International businesses, its global manufacturing and supply network and global functions to support customers when outbreaks of new or ever-present infectious diseases occur.  

“We at Zoetis recognize that infectious diseases are occurring with greater frequency and geographic impact, driven by climate change, urbanization, and increasing global travel and trade,” said Dr. Mahesh Kumar, Senior Vice President, Biologics Research and Development at Zoetis. “With the advent of the Center for Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, we are enhancing our capabilities and capacity to respond sooner and faster to help control infectious disease whenever and wherever needed.”  

The Center builds on four core capabilities that distinguish Zoetis as a global leader in effective, rapid response to transboundary and emerging diseases, according to Dr. John Hardham, Research Director, who leads the Center. “We are bringing together our expertise in traditional and rational vaccine development, our alliances with centers of excellence in disease surveillance, expertise in regulatory affairs, and our capability to scale up product manufacturing at the highest level of quality to support our customers with solutions to control infectious diseases.”  

Helping Prepare a Strong Offense Against Devastating Diseases

Hardham added that through the coordinated work of the Center, Zoetis is helping governments prepare for and protect against the threat of outbreaks of devastating diseases.

One such example is the project Zoetis has underway to develop a vaccine to help protect against the threat of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the United States. FMD is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease and affects cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison and other ruminants, causing fever followed by blisters in the mouth and hooves. FMD has not been detected in the mainland United States since 1929; however, it is present in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and outbreaks have occurred in the past two decades in European countries. The possibility of re-entry to the U.S. remains a threat. An FMD outbreak in the United States would devastate the country’s Livestock industry, through the likely destruction of millions of animals.  The potential economic damages to the U.S. is estimated to be $12.8 billion annually resulting in more than $100 billion over ten years. Preparedness to prevent its entry and spread is the best offense. An important element of that offense includes development of a vaccine that can be rapidly manufactured in the U.S. to ensure a sufficient inventory is at the ready in the U.S. National Veterinary Stockpile.  

“Advances in technology have made it possible for Zoetis, in collaboration with the USDA – Agricultural Research Service, to genetically modify the FMD virus so that it is not infectious and cannot transmit among livestock,” said Mahesh Kumar. Known as the FMD-LL3B3D vaccine platform, this technology will allow Zoetis scientists to safely develop an FMD vaccine in the U.S. Data indicate that the platform also makes it possible for regulatory authorities and veterinarians to distinguish between animals that have been vaccinated and those with natural FMD virus infection, which would help protect export markets for U.S.-raised meat. The development of this platform combined with Zoetis’ R&D capabilities prompted the USDA in April to grant Zoetis a select agent exclusion authorizing Zoetis to develop vaccines using this modified, non-infectious FMD-LL3B3D vaccine platform in the U.S.  

On the Forefront of Controlling Emerging Diseases in Animals

Zoetis has been on the forefront of vaccine development to help combat many of the most significant infectious diseases that have threatened the health of livestock as well as companion animals. In the livestock segment, Zoetis has developed vaccine solutions against Blue tongue disease, classical swine fever, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and highly pathogenic avian influenza.  

Since 2012, Zoetis in Australia has marketed a vaccine it developed with government and NGO partners to protect horses from infection with the life-threatening Hendra virus, a zoonotic pathogen that can also threaten the health of people who come into contact with infected horses. And, when a newly identified canine influenza virus H3N2 spread rapidly across 25 U.S. states, Zoetis was first to receive a conditional license from USDA in November 2015 to help veterinarians protect dogs from infection. Zoetis subsequently began to market its Vanguard® CIV H3N2/H3N8, a bivalent canine flu vaccine to help control highly contagious H3N2 and H3N8 strains of canine influenza virus (CIV) prevalent in the U.S.  


Source: Zoetis

Outrage, acceptance greet Son of NAFTA

Responses from Canada’s farm sectors range from acceptance to anger as concessions and market access granted under the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) come into clearer view.

Dairy: ‘Who needs an enemy?’

The new agreement, announced Sunday and dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the U.S. government, is expected to put an end to Canada’s milk pricing Classes 6 and 7 and create additional tariff rate quotas “exclusively” for U.S. dairy products over and above existing levels, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.

By year six under the USMCA deal, additional market access will be granted for 50,000 tonnes of fluid milk; 12,500 tonnes of cheese; 10,500 tonnes of cream; 7,500 tonnes of skim milk powder; 4,500 tonnes of butter and cream powder; 4,135 tonnes of yogurt and buttermilk; 1,380 tonnes of concentrated and condensed milk; 690 tonnes of ice cream and ice cream mixes; 690 tonnes of “other” dairy; 520 tonnes of powdered buttermilk; and 2,760 tonnes of “products of natural milk constituents.”

In each of those categories, access for U.S. tonnage will increase by one per cent for an additional 13 years, the USTR said in a release.

In the fluid milk category, 85 per cent of the quota will be reserved for further processing; meanwhile, in the cream category and the butter and cream powder category, 85 per cent of the volume in year one of the deal will be reserved for further processing. By year five, the quota in the butter and cream powder category reserved for further processing will be cut to 50 per cent.

U.S. whey will get 4,134 tonnes of additional access by year six of USMCA, growing one percent for an additional four years, the USTR said, adding whey’s over-quota tariff is to be eliminated in 10 years.

The U.S. pledges to provide “reciprocal” access on a ton-for-ton basis for imports of Canada’s dairy products through “first-come, first-served” tariff rate quotas, the USTR said.

One of the U.S. government’s stated key objectives in NAFTA renegotiations was the elimination of Canada’s milk price class 7, which along with class 6 is to be eliminated six months after the USMCA enters into force.

Canada “will ensure that the price for skim milk solids used to produce nonfat dry milk, milk protein concentrates, and infant formula will be set no lower than a level based on the U.S. price for nonfat dry milk,” the USTR said.

The agreement also binds Canada to “adopt measures designed to limit the impact of any surplus skim milk production on external markets.”

Those measures, the USTR said, include resuming Canada’s program to use skim milk domestically as animal feed — and a “new commitment” to cap exports of skim milk powder, milk protein concentrates and infant formula.

For skim milk powder and milk protein concentrates, the aggregate export cap will be 55,000 tonnes in the first year after USMCA enters into force, falling to 35,000 in the second year. Exports beyond that threshold will be subject to an export surcharge of 54 Canadian cents per kilogram.

For infant formula, the export cap will be 13,333 tonnes in the first year, rising to 40,000 in the second and subsequent years, subject to a surcharge of C$4.25/kg on any export overages.

Both caps, the USTR said, will rise by 1.2 per cent a year, “an amount equivalent to Canada’s historical population growth.” Canada is also committed to discuss “any matter” related to this mechanism upon the U.S. government’s request. Both countries will review the agreement five years after its entry into force and “every two years thereafter.”

Canadian dairy groups were quick to respond to the trilateral deal’s announcement. “Essentially, this will not fix a broken American system that continually overproduces milk,” Alberta Milk said in a release. “Our Canadian farmers will suffer and no wide-ranging long-term benefits will be seen in American dairy; it will remain broken.”

“Over the past year and a half, we have repeatedly heard our government state that it would stand up for the Canadian dairy sector. However, what was agreed to last night demonstrates very little support for our interests,” Dairy Processors Association of Canada CEO Mathieu Frigon said in a separate statement Monday.

The decision to eliminate class 7, DPAC added, “will stifle innovation, stunt market growth, and create additional losses for those dairy processors who have made significant capital investments recently to improve Canada’s domestic processing capacity.”

Dairy co-operative Agropur’s president Rene Moreau, for one, said separately that the “constant changes to trade agreements to which Canada is a party (are) increasing the level of uncertainty and greatly complicating long-term planning of our investments in our Canadian facilities.”

“Today, the message sent to our passionate, proud and quality-conscious farmers and all the people who work in the dairy sector is clear: they are nothing more than a bargaining chip to satisfy President Trump,” Dairy Farmers of Canada president Pierre Lampron said Monday.

Chicken Farmers of Canada said it was also “very disappointed” with the “unprecedented” additional access conceded for dairy products and “shares the concerns that these changes will impact the overall supply management system in Canada.

“When increased levels of market access are granted to supply management sectors, it weakens the import control pillar of the system, which allows farmers to safely predict imports and ensure that they produce enough to satisfy our country’s needs.”

“Successive Conservative and Liberal governments in Canada have protected supply management while causing a death by a thousand cuts,” dairy farmer Jan Slomp, vice-president for policy for the National Farmers Union, said in a separate release Tuesday. “If this is support from a supply management-friendly government, who needs an enemy?”

Poultry and eggs: ‘Uncertainty is over’

The USMCA also commits Canada to open up additional tariff rate quotas (TRQs) specifically for U.S. chicken and eggs, including an additional 57,000 tonnes of chicken by year six of the agreement, rising one per cent for an additional 10 years.

The deal also provides additional TRQs for 10 million dozen U.S. eggs and “egg-equivalent” products in year one, growing one per cent for an additional 10 years. Canada has agreed to allow 30 per cent of import licenses for shell egg imports to be granted to “new entrants,” USTR added.

On top of those country-specific TRQs, the USTR said, the U.S. remains eligible to export up to 39,844 tonnes of chicken and up to 21.37 million dozen egg and egg-equivalent products under Canada’s World Trade Organization (WTO) TRQ regime.

Under the USMCA, Canada has also agreed to provide the U.S. and “other country members” of the WTO with turkey market access “equivalent to no less than 3.5 per cent” of the previous year’s total Canadian turkey production, the USTR said.

For the U.S., that translates to additional allowable turkey product exports of up to 1,000 tonnes per year for the next 10 years compared to current access levels, plus “potentially more thereafter.”

The USMCA also maintains U.S. market access for broiler hatching eggs at 21.1 per cent of Canadian domestic production, a level previously agreed to under the Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

“These concessions offer very little value to Canadian consumers who have said time and time again that they want Canadian eggs,” Egg Farmers of Canada chairman Roger Pelissero said in a release. “Yet the very farm families who make sure high-quality, locally produced eggs end up on our tables will see their livelihoods weakened.”

“Despite the fact Canada’s chicken sector is giving up additional access, chicken farmers are relieved that over a year of uncertainty over the future of the agricultural landscape in Canada is over,” Chicken Farmers of Canada said in a separate release.

That said, the USMCA concessions “will result in an increased market access of over 12 million kg” for U.S. production, on top of existing WTO access and additional access granted under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement, “representing more than 10.7 per cent of our existing production,” CFC noted.

Canola and margarine: ‘Processes have changed’

The USMCA calls a halt on tariffs for margarine in five years, the USTR said, and the margarine rule of origin, as applied to trade between the U.S. and Canada, will allow for the use of “non-originating” palm oil in margarine manufacturing.

“At first glance, we’re pleased that open trade for canola will continue and that we’ll now be able to export further-processed products like margarine without tariffs being applied,” Canola Council of Canada president Jim Everson said in a separate release.

Canola seed, oil and meal will remain “free of tariffs,” the CCC said, while further-processed products such as margarine will trade freely due to “modernized” rules of origin.

“Manufacturing processes have changed since the original (NAFTA) was negotiated, and the USMCA has been updated so that margarine produced in Canada can meet the rules of origin required for tariff-free access,” the council said.

Wheat grading: ‘Greater simplification’

The USMCA binds Canada to grade imports of U.S. wheat “in a manner no less favourable than it accords Canadian wheat, and to not require a country-of-origin statement on its quality grade or inspection certificate,” the USTR said.

Canadian grain industry groups that had pressed for such changes hailed the move. Grain Growers of Canada said the updated agreement “will remove legal barriers that prevent grain grown on both sides of the border from being treated equally.”

Cereals Canada president Cam Dahl described the move as “a modernization that addresses issues that did not exist when the original NAFTA was drafted.”

Dahl noted there had been “some concern that the adjustments to the grading system would undermine Canada’s classification system for wheat. This is not the case as the agreement continues to allow both countries the ability to develop national policy.”

“The USMCA will require legislative and regulatory changes in order to ensure that the 2019 harvest is dealt with on a level playing field,” the Western Canadian Wheat Growers said in a separate release. “It is anticipated that this will lead to greater simplification of the Grain Act (and) fewer barriers to trade as well as more open and free markets.”

The three countries under the USMCA have also agreed to “strengthen disciplines for science-based (sanitary and phytosanitary, or SPS) measures, while ensuring parties maintain their sovereign right to protect human, animal, and plant life or health,” the USTR said.

The agreement calls for increased transparency on development and implementation of SPS measures; advancing “science-based” decision making; improving processes for certification, regionalization and equivalency determinations; conducting systems-based audits; and improving transparency for import checks.

The new agreement also commits all three countries to set up a new mechanism for SPS technical consultations to resolve issues between the parties.

‘Do no harm’

Overall, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture noted “beneficial results” have been shown for “some sectors within agriculture,” such as increased U.S. market access for Canada’s sugar beet producers, but “initial indications suggest the livelihood of producers in Canada’s supply managed sectors will be hurt by the concessions included within this new trade deal.”

CFA said it had “continually recommended a ‘do no harm’ approach to the agricultural terms of the agreement, advocating for regulatory modernization to help relieve logistical barriers to trade” but issues such as meat re-inspection at the border “were not addressed.”

CFA said it’s “relieved” to see the Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism has been maintained, as it “remains essential to all sectors that conduct international trade between the three USMCA countries.”

“While negotiations always involve some give-and-take, right now it seems like the USMCA negotiations missed a key opportunity to relieve some non-tariff barriers to trade, which would have been a great help to farmers from every country involved in the deal,” CFA president Ron Bonnett said.

“Couple that with more market access being given to the U.S. in our supply managed sectors and there aren’t many farmers under supply management who are happy right now.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network


ST Genetics Launches Chromosomal Mating

Livestock genetics leader and innovator STgenetics®, launched today the brand-new mating software that will revolutionize the genetics marketing!  Electronic mating programs are required to organize and provide information for breeders to specify future progeny performance in their herd. This concept led to the development of Chromosomal Mating® by STgenetics®. Following the blueprints published by leading scientists in the field (Sun et. al., 2013), we have reduced the science into practice.

Chromosomal Mating® has three main components: 1. Linear Matings, 2. Pedigree-based Matings and 3. Genomic Matings. Each mating type has an easy to use interface with the backbone of solid science running in the background to give farmers the best gain in the direction that is important for their program. The result is a traceable progress mating after mating toward a long-lasting productive herd.

Linear Mating is supported by an easy to use app developed by STgenetics® engineers to help farmers score their animals and provide real-time data for optimization of their matings to achieve the required animal type.

Over the years, STgenetics® scientists have built a comprehensive database that incorporates pedigree and genomics on an extensive number of animals. Pedigree Mating takes advantage of that vast database to estimate expected progeny performance based on parent averages.

To take full advantage of the genetic potential of your herd, STgenetics®incorporated Genomic Mating as part of the new mating program. Chromosomal Mating® is designed to optimize the use and dissemination of the best genes in the new generation.

Chromosomal Mating® also encompasses other key factors such as • preventing homozygous lethal alleles in the new generation  • maximizing genomic breeding values (GEBV) in the offspring   • managing expected future inbreeding  • controlling number of mates for each bull  • utilizing flexible selection objectives  • providing the best economic results considering both additive genetics and inbreeding at once.  

For more information about Chromosomal Mating®, talk with your local STgenetics® representative or contact the company’s Dairy Call Center at (844) 828-7849 or International customers can call (920) 921-5850 or email

Chromosomal Mating® the science of genetics, the art of matings.


Sun C., P. M. VanRaden , J. R. O’Connell , K. A. Weigel , and D. Gianola. Mating programs including genomic relationships and dominance effects. J. Dairy Sci. 2013.

New trade deal will ‘hurt’ Canadian dairy farmers, but won’t help U.S. ones

Industry representatives in the milk and cheese heartland of Wisconsin were not so effusive about the benefits of the deal Trump heralded as a ‘great victory’

As he proudly unveiled his new trade deal with Canada this week, President Donald Trump heralded it as a “great victory” for American agriculture, offering far more access to this country’s dairy market.

“Our farmers were not treated properly by Canada,” he said outside the White House Monday. “Now they’re going to be treated with respect.”

But industry representatives in the milk and cheese heartland of Wisconsin — where Trump first began hammering Canada for its dairy protectionism — were not so effusive about the agreement’s benefits Tuesday.

The state has seen a net loss of more than 400 dairy farms this year alone as low prices and over-supply plague the U.S. business. Canada’s agreement to free up another 3.6 per cent of its milk market to Americans will do relatively little to lessen those troubles, they said.

“It’s probably not going to have any impact at all as far as saving farms,” said Darin Von Rudin, a third-generation dairy producer and head of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. “I can certainly see the Canadian dairy farmers’ side of this. It’s going to hurt them … but it isn’t going to help the U.S. dairy farmers.”

Compared to overall production in the U.S., the increased access to Canadian customers is “tiny,” not even enough to meet annual growth in American production, he said.

As for the low milk prices U.S. farmers are facing, announcement of a tentative trade agreement had no effect on the market, said Mike North, president of the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association.

“The price of milk, the price of product, there has been no movement on this news,” he said. “The net impact has been zero.”

Still, North is confident that as the deal is ratified and the new U.S. quotas in Canada take effect, it will move the market positively.

“Unto themselves, the Canadian consumer will not be the solution for U.S. dairy supply or over-supply. But they are part of it,” he said. “The fact that we are again talking about growing access for U.S. dairy in Canada is something that makes U.S. dairymen happy.”

According to U.S. figures, America exported about $600 million worth of dairy products duty-free to Canada last year – over three times what it bought from here – but anything above that is subject to tariffs of up to 300 per cent.

It was at an April 2017 event in Wisconsin that Trump first blasted Canada’s “very unfair” treatment of U.S. dairy farmers, after Gov. Scott Walker highlighted the issue to him. He has repeated the complaint often since, threatening to punish Canada with devastating automobile duties.

The United States Mexico Canada Agreement kills the Canadian “class-seven” milk program whose low prices undercut American exports of a dried-milk product. Overall, the deal would grant the States the ability to export an additional 100,000 metric tons or so of various dairy products here.

Yet that is less than half a per cent of total American production. Just the U.S. over-supply of milk-fat — surplus above domestic and foreign customer demand — is the equivalent of about 8.1 million metric tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What dairy farmers were offered in the deal is “mainly symbolic,” and represents only a small reduction in Canadian protectionism, Economist Ethan Harris of Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note to clients, CNBC reported.

Even so, Gov. Walker called the new trade deal “a big win for Wisconsin farmers,” while Jim Holte of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau said he welcomed it with “open arms.”

The trade agreement “kind of brings hope,” said Jay Heeg, president of the Wisconsin Professional Dairy Producers, adding that he appreciated the two countries were paying heed to his industry.

But he said he’ll need more information to determine if it will have a tangible impact on overall demand and prices, noting the lack of reaction this week from the U.S. milk market.

“It could change,” said Heeg. “But markets wait for any kind of signal, and there didn’t seem to be much of a signal there.”

Source: National Post

DeLaval Donates $10,000 to National 4-H Dairy Conference

Recognizing the importance of fostering the next generation of the dairy industry, DeLaval presented a $10,000 donation to the National 4-H Council to support the National 4-H Dairy Conference during the conclusion of their 2018 event. This donation not only helps youth attend the annual Dairy Conference at World Dairy Expo, but also enhances programs and leadership opportunities for 4-H dairy youth throughout the year.

“It’s so important for our industry to invest in its future in this way,” says Fernando Cuccioli, DeLaval Regional President, North America Market Area. “We’ve seen firsthand the lasting impact that 4-H has on dairy youth, and we are proud to support these learning opportunities.”

Delaval is celebrating 35 years of supporting future generations of dairy producers and professionals. 2018 is the third year that dairy producers across the United States have enhanced the sponsorship through their purchases of select milk quality solutions. “We can’t thank our loyal customers enough for their involvement in this donation,” Cuccioli says.

Scholarships, increased conference attendance and higher-caliber speakers are just a few of the ways conference organizers plan to use the donation. Rel Seykora, National 4-H Dairy Conference Secretary confirms, “We’ll be able to keep strengthening our endowment and sustain the conference long-term. We’re incredibly grateful to DeLaval for the lasting impact this will have on the youth who attend our conference.”

According to Cuccioli, the mission of DeLaval is to make sustainable food production possible. “It just makes sense that we would support the coming generations as a part of sustaining dairy production into the future,” he says.

DeLaval is once again the highest-level sponsor of the National 4-H Dairy Conference. More than 180 youth from across North America attended the 2018 event, held September 30 through October 3. Seykora says the National 4-H Dairy Conference is the place where leading dairy youth from across North America can come to interact with one another and build industry bridges that will last well into the future.



Fiji successfully executes first cattle embryo transfer

FIJI’S first embryo transfer program on cattle has been marked a success following the birth of calves or calving stage at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Sigatoka Research Station.

Minister for Agriculture and Rural and Maritime Development Inia Seruiratu said the ministry had collaborated with Australian Reproductive Technologies to improve the dairy and beef industry.

He said this was the first time ever for Fiji to trial and implement embryo transfer technology.

“… It is a historic achievement for the ministry as we have witnessed the next stage of the program with the birth of these calves and I acknowledge the tremendous work and technical contributions of Australian Reproductive Technologies in improving Fiji’s dairy and beef industry,” Mr Seruiratu said.

Australian Reproductive Technologies managing director. Simon Walton said the result of the embryo transfer would boost the industry.

“Discussions and consultations were made with the Ministry of Agriculture on ways to improve the beef and dairy industry and consultations with local farmers on what they wanted. We decided to bring in frozen embryos from Australia and transfer it to local cattle in December last year and they are calving now,” Mr Walton was quoted saying in the Government statement.

“There are 40 calves now and still some more to come, and we have already transferred a second lot of embryos and we will be back in the next few years to replicate this,” Mr Walton said.

“When these calves start to get bigger, then we will make embryos from them and expand the herd across Fiji and when we take the embryo from this one, we make hundreds of embryos in a year and transfer them into many cattle so one cattle can have many calves in a year.

“They are a mixed breed, we take the embryos and put them into these cattle and their genetics is not represented in the babies at all, they are completely different from mother and father.”

The program has identified the Senepol cattle for beef breeds after having demonstrated a number of desirable commercial traits and is also climate resilient while the Brown Swiss cattle has been identified for dairy, due to its high volume and quality milk production.

Similarly, the use of biotechnology such as embryo transfer technology includes the development of nucleus herds for both beef and dairy industry in Fiji.

“What we have done through the Ministry of Agriculture is start a nucleus herd of these very elite high producing animals and as we move into the future we will try and train Fijian staff to apply the technology that we have in Australia so you can multiply the nucleus that you have here and then expand them across Fiji,” Mr Walton said.

Through the program, tracking devices using satellite on calves in the case of stray animals and theft has been introduced to keep track of the animals’ location.


Source: The Fiji Times

Aged Cows Win International Junior Holstein Show

Gamlake Destry Sallie took home three new titles at the 2018 International Junior Holstein Show. The winning Six-Year-Old and Older Cow was named Senior Champion and Champion Bred & Owned before going on to be named Grand Champion Holstein of the Junior Show. Sallie, exhibited by Samantha Gambonini, Petaluma, Calif., took home the $500 Udder Comfort Grand Champion Cash Award and the Lillian & Keith King and Jim King Grand Champion of the Junior Show Award. Second in the Six-Year-Old and Older Cow class and Reserve Grand Champion of the International Junior Holstein Show was Lovhilll Braxton Funky-ET, exhibited by Joseph, Zach, Jerome and Darian Stransky of Owatonna, Minn. They were awarded the Lillian & Keith King and Jim King Reserve Grand Champion of the Junior Show Award.

Evaluating the 217 entries were official judge Chris Hill, Thurmont, Md. and associate judge Robert Teixeira, Keyes, Calif.

The Intermediate Champion, Lellavan Avalanche Fuji, came from the Yearling Heifer in Milk class. Fuji is owned by B. Almeida and F, C, A, L, J & H Borba of Canton De Hatley, Quebec, Canada. The Reserve Intermediate Champion was Butlerview Door Aleah, owned by Christian Cunningham of Penngrove, Cali. Aleah was the winning Senior Three-Year-Old Cow.

Budjon-Abbott Alexandra-ET and Hatee Jacoby Paris were the winning Winter Yearling Heifers and Junior Champion and Reserve Junior Champion of the International Junior Holstein Show, respectively. Alexandra is owned by Kaelyn, Kenadee and Keegan Weigel of Platteville, Wis. and Alyson and Kenlee Philips of Lingleville, Texas, are the owners of the Reserve Junior Champion, Paris.

Complete class results can be found at

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube for more information. 

Ruth Wins Back-To-Back Titles at the International Ayrshire Show

Palmyra Berkley P Ruth -ET took home three titles at the 2018 International Ayrshire Show. The winning Four-Year-Old Cow was named Senior Champion Female and Total Performance Winner before going on to be named Grand Champion of the Ayrshire Show for the second year. Ruth, exhibited by Palmrya Farm -Evan Creek of Hagerstown, Md., took home the $1,000 Udder Comfort Grand Champion Cash Award and the Allen Hetts Grand Champion Trophy for the second year. First in the Five-Year-Old Cow class and Reserve Grand Champion of the International Ayrshire Show was Marilie Gentelman Karmina, exhibited by Peter Vail and Mike and Linda Hellendbrand of Lomira, Wis.

Evaluating the 273 entries were official judge Callum McKinven, Canton de Hatley, Quebec, Canada, and associate judge Dean Malcolm, Victoria, Austrailia.

The Intermediate Champion, Old-N-Lazy Dream Of A Diva, came from the Junior Three-Year-Old cow. Diva is owned by Rosedale Genetics and Mike Maier of Oxford, Wis. The Reserve Intermediate Champion was Palmyra Shockwave BP Rosy, owned by Kurt Wolf and John Cannon of Epworth, Iowa. Rosy was the winning Senior Three-Year-Old Cow.

KnH-Endres Burdette Mayhem was the winning Summer Yearling and Junior Champion of the International Ayrshire Show. Mayhem is owned by Leslie and Linda Bruchey of Westminst, Md. Glamourview-Lager and Walton are the owners of the winning Fall Heifer calf and Reserve Junior Champion, Jomill Burdette Kalliope.

The Premier Breeder of the Heifer Show was Lazy M Farm, Stitzer, Wis. Winning the Premier Sire of the Heifer Show and the overall Premier Sire was Palmyra Tri-Star Burdette-ET. Palmyra Farm of Hagerstown, Md., took home the honors of Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor.

Complete class results can be found at

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit or follow us on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube for more information. 

Dreams Come True for Wishful Thinking During International Junior Ayrshire Show

Toppglen Wishful Thinking-ET of New Bremen, Ohio, was the Senior and Grand Champion Female of the International Junior Ayrshire Show, taking home the $500 Udder Comfort Grand Champion Award on Tuesday, October 2. Shown by Tanner, Brennan, Marissa and Logan Topp, Wishful Thinking was the winning Junior entry from the Five-Year-Old Cow class. Second in the class was River-Valley Gavins Brooke, who followed to become Reserve Senior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion of the show. Brooke was exhibited by Megan, Johnathon, Bradley and Sarah Hill of Bristol, Vt. The cows received a Lillian & Keith King and Jim King Grand Champion and Reserve Champion of the Junior Show Award, respectively.

The Intermediate Champion Female of the International Junior Ayrshire Show was the winning Junior Three-Year-Old Cow class, Misty River Burdette Jaciee, was shown by Monica J Howe of New Braintree, Mass. The winning Senior Two-Year-Old Cow, Haynes-Farm Brachiosaurus, of Fort Edward, N.Y., was exhibited by Molly Doty.

Four-Hills Burd Sassy 64671 and Lazy M Distinct Lanie were selected as Junior Champion and Reserve Junior Champion of the International Junior Ayrshire Show, respectively. Johnathan Hill, from Bristol, Vt., led Four-Hills Burd Sassy 64671 to victory in the Spring Yearling Heifer class, and Mikayla Endres of Lodi, Wis. exhibited Lanie, the first place Fall Yearling Heifer

Official judge Callum McKinven, Canton de Hatley, Quebec, and associate judge Dean Malcolm, Victoria, Australia, placed 114 animals in the International Junior Ayrshire Show.

Complete class results can be found at

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube for more information. 

Wisconsin Keeps National 4-H Dairy Judging Title

Winning the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest for the second year in a row was the team from Wisconsin on Monday, October 1. This local winning group consists of Cole Mahlkuch, Brian McCullough, Rachel McCullough and Clayton Mahlkuch and was coached by Mike Marean. Coming in a close second place finish overall and sixth in reasons, was the Minnesota team of Kjersten Veiseth, Jay Dicke, Owen Scheffler and Madelyn Wehe. Awna Hirsch, of Colorado, took home the honor of high individual overall while Ainsley Peterson of Florida won the reasons portion.

Teams and individuals receiving recognition include:

Top Ten Teams – Overall:

  1. Wisconsin, 2,041, team members: Clayton Mahlkuch, Cole Mahlkuch, Brian McCullough and Rachel McCullough, coached by Mike Marean
  2. Minnesota, 2,040, team members: Kjersten Veiseth, Jay Dicke, Owen Scheffler and Madelyn Wehe, coached by Tony Scheffler
  3. Maryland, 2,028, team members: Dylan Hill, Tiffany Green, Charles Patterson V and Ryan Allen, coached by A. Dennis and W. Carlisle
  4. Colorado, 2,027, team members: Awna Hirsch, Megan Podtburg, Kyndall Tucker and Morgynne Tucker, coached by K. Maxey and D. Carpio
  5. Pennsylvania, 2,019, team members: Victoria Clark, Kyle Vanderfeltz, GW Sebright and Quinn Dum, coached by Chad Dechow
  6. Florida, 2,012, team members: Jozef Heijkoop, Ainsley Peterson, Karen Kotlarczyk and Gracie Lee, coached by Gene Holcomb
  7. Kentucky, 1,985, team members: Sydney Warren, Evan Stilts, Amelia Floyd and Noah Dunning, coached by Larissa Tucker
  8. Vermont, 1,979, team members: Isabel Hall, Seth Carson, Maddie Nadeau and Joseph Real, coached by Elizabeth and Ricky Hall
  9. New York, 1,979, team members: Grace Harrigan, Rachel Rouland, Heidi Moss and Bryce Windecker, coached by Douglas Waterman
  10. Ohio, 1,952, team members: Sarah Quallen, David Miley, Sarah Rhoades and Samuel Jackson, coached by Sherry Smith

Top Ten Individuals – Overall:

  1. Awna Hirsch, 707, Colorado
  2. Brian McCullough, 700, Wisconsin
  3. Jay Dicke, 696, Minnesota
  4. Kjersten Veiseth, 691, Minnesota
  5. Ainsley Peterson, 689, Florida
  6. Sydney Warren, 687, Kentucky
  7. Isabel Hall, 685, Vermont
  8. Blake Courtney, 685, Iowa
  9. GW Sebright, 682, Pennsylvania,
  10. Ryan Allen, 680, Maryland

Top Ten Teams – Reasons:

  1. Florida, 674, coached by Gene Holcomb
  2. Kentucky, 658, coached by Larissa Tucker
  3. Vermont, 653, coached by Elizabeth and Ricky Hall
  4. New York, 649, coached by Douglas Waterman
  5. Pennsylvania, 644, Chad Dechow
  6. Minnesota, 643, Tony Scheffler
  7. Colorado, 642, K. Maxey and D. Carpio
  8. Michigan, 640, Joe Domecq and Sarah Black
  9. Maryland, 634, coached by A. Dennis and W. Carlisle
  10. Wisconsin, 626, coached by Mike Marean

Top Ten Individuals – Reasons:

  1. Ainsley Peterson, 235, Florida
  2. Awna Hirsch, 230, Colorado
  3. Sydney Warren, 228, Kentucky
  4. Brian McCullough, 226, Wisconsin
  5. Isabel Hall, 225, Vermont
  6. GW Sebright, 224, Pennsylvania
  7. Ryan Allen, 222, Maryland
  8. Miriam Cook, 222, Michigan
  9. Jozef Heijkoop, 222, Florida
  10. Jay Dicke, 221, Minnesota

The National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest is made possible in part through the generous support of Platinum Level Sponsor Channel Seed; Gold Sponsors, DeLaval, Inc., ST Genetics and Westway Feed Products; and additional supporters.

Serving as the meeting place of the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo brings together the latest in dairy innovation and the best cattle in North America. Crowds of nearly 70,000 people, from 100 countries, will return to Madison, Wisconsin for the 52nd annual event, October 2-6, 2018, when the world’s largest dairy-focused trade show, dairy and forage seminars, a world-class dairy cattle show and more will be on display. Visit or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat or YouTube for more information.  

Canada, U.S. reach tentative NAFTA deal; Trump approves pact

Canada and the U.S. have reached a tentative deal to overhaul the North American free-trade agreement after intensive weekend talks, trading access to Canada’s protected dairy market for the preservation of a key dispute-resolution system and exemption from threatened auto tariffs.

President Donald Trump signed off on the agreement late Sunday night, said four sources with knowledge of the closed-door negotiations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened a late Sunday cabinet meeting at his office in Ottawa. The Mexican Economy Ministry, meanwhile, said it presented text of the preliminary deal to the Mexican Senate.

NAFTA will be renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – or USMC, with the United States posting the text of the agreement online. Mr. Trump had previously indicated he wanted to do away with the phrase “NAFTA.”

In a statement late Sunday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed that Canada and the United States had settled upon a “new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st Century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”

Canada preserved the Chapter 19 dispute settlement provision, satisfying Mr. Trudeau’s long-standing red line in the negotiations. The deal will also keep in place protections for Canadian cultural industries.

Mr. Trump, for his part, gained the right for American farmers to sell more products into Canada’s tightly-controlled supply managed dairy system, his major trade complaint with Canada over the last year and a half.

Three sources said a side agreement would see the Trump administration guarantee it will not impose tariffs on most auto imports from Canada.

The deal would also allow Canadian consumers to purchase five times more foreign merchandise online without paying import duty than they are currently allowed, the two sources said.

While the agreement did contain some Canadian concessions, it mostly limited the damage to Canada from Mr. Trump’s protectionist trade policies. But Canada failed to conclude a deal to get steel and aluminium tariffs lifted. Mr. Trump imposed the levies in June, insisting they were the consequence of Canada not signing onto a NAFTA deal, but two U.S. officials speaking at a background briefing said there was no agreement to lift them despite Canada agreeing to the deal. Those officials said there have been negotiations over the tariffs, but they have not reached a conclusion.

Canada also agreed to increase protections for pharmaceutical patents to 10 years, a significant victory for the U.S. in an area it has long pushed Canada on, the U.S. officials said. Canada has long resisted increasing protections for pharma in order to keep drug prices low and help its own generic drug industry.

The U.S. dropped a major demand to gut Chapter 20, a different dispute resolution provision, and it will instead remain exactly as it is now, the U.S. officials said. Chapter 11, however, will be phased out between the U.S. and Canada, the officials said. The provision had allowed corporations to sue governments at special tribunals for interfering in their business. The chapter will, however, remain in place in a scaled-back form in Mexico.

The U.S. has been pressing Canada to make a deal since late August, when the Trump administration reached a preliminary NAFTA pact with Mexico.

Mr. Trump wants to send text of the deal to Congress Monday, starting a 60-day countdown to a final signing. He has repeatedly threatened to decimate Canada’s auto industry with 25-per-cent tariffs if an agreement is not reached.

Canadian and American negotiators spent all weekend in talks, conducted via videolink, in a bid to reach the deadline, said two government and industry sources.

Ms. Freeland and Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton hunkered down with Mr. Trudeau’s top aides, Katie Telford and Gerald Butts, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa to work through the deal.

Mr. MacNaughton said the negotiating team was pleased with the result. “If a few months ago you had told me we would get a deal like this, I would have taken it in a nanosecond.”

Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff, who sits on the government’s NAFTA advisory panel, said the tentative deal “will be a relief for industry but also for our members who are worried if the industry is not protected.” Mr. Yussuff noted Mr. Trudeau will hold a news conference Monday to lay out the details of the deal.

Canada will give U.S. farmers access to the Canadian dairy market greater than the 3.2 per cent granted to 10 other countries under the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ottawa will also change a rule that had largely excluded U.S.-made ultrafiltered milk, a cheese-making ingredient, from Canada.

The deal will preserve Canada’s supply management system, which uses a combination of quotas and tariffs to guarantee returns for Canadian farmers.

But giving a larger percentage of the market to the U.S. without tariffs is certain to rankle the dairy lobby, which wields significant political influence, particularly in Quebec, which holds a provincial election Monday.

“As the national association of dairy farmers in Canada, we have not been consulted by the government” about the potential concession, said Lucie Boileau, a spokeswoman for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

For its part, Canada will keep Chapter 19, which allows it to challenge punitive American tariffs on imports at binational panels rather than in the U.S. court system.

The system has proven useful in the past for protecting softwood-lumber exports from duties.

Canada also bowed to U.S. demands to raise its de minimis threshold – the amount of online merchandise consumers can buy across international borders without paying import duty – from $20 to $100, said the sources.

The move, which was opposed by the Canadian retail industry, was agreed to by Canada in exchange for still being able to collect sales tax on the purchases, a source said.

The framework deal also includes a side agreement to have Mr. Trump exempt Canadian autos from future levies. In exchange, Canada agreed to an auto quota system similar to one Mexico accepted in August, said two industry sources.

Under the terms of the deal, all Canadian-made autos and auto parts under a specific quota – which is higher than current export levels – are exempted from any possible Section 232 national-security tariffs.

In addition, any Canadian-made autos that exceed the quota but that meet stringent new auto-content rules would also be exempted. Therefore, Washington could only impose tariffs on autos that exceed the cap and fail to meet the new rules.

One U.S. industry source briefed on the talks said Canada and the U.S. had discussed quotas or export restrictions on steel and aluminium, which designed to exempt current Canadian exports while discouraging steel and aluminium from other countries being routed through Canada into the U.S. market.

Jesus Seade Kuri, the chief negotiator representing Mexico’s president elect, Andres Manuel López Obrador, said he was delighted and relieved with that it was a trilateral deal. “”The fact that Canada is in will be very popular across the board.”

He predicted that the deal would be broadly popular with Mexicans, although the tougher rules of origins on cars would draw criticism – but in the long term they will prove positive, he said, since “you have a whole region that is becoming more protectionist … and now we are inside the curtain. That’s beneficial for Canada and Mexico.”

He said that in hindsight, it was possible that Mexico could have got through the negotiations without giving up as much as it did. “Probably Mexico could have been tougher and resisted concessions — in the car industry, for example — it probably was a little too much but at same time that’s difficult to say, because Trump was so hell bent on getting out of NAFTA.”


How the couple behind Manolo Blahnik went from designer shoes to dairy cows

George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis have been partners in business and life for nearly 40 years. As top executives for Manolo Blahnik shoes, made famous by the HBO show “Sex and the City,” they never expected what came next: a dairy farm in Connecticut. Watch the video above to see how they did it.

This designer dairy farm started with Manolo Blahnik shoes from CNBC.

Bluetongue virus detected in two UK cattle imported from France

Farmers have been urged to be vigilant for bluetongue virus after the disease was picked up in two cattle imported from France.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Pirbright Institute identified the disease in the animals when they were brought to North Yorkshire from an assembly centre in Central France, where bluetongue continues to slowly spread.

Bluetongue does not affect people or food safety. The virus is transmitted by midge bites and affects cows, goats, sheep and other camelids such as llamas.

It can reduce milk yield and cause infertility and in the most severe cases is fatal for infected animals.

The midges are most active between May and October and not all susceptible animals show immediate signs of contracting the virus.

Action is being taken to ensure the risk of spread of the disease is reduced, with movement restrictions at the affected premises. The two cattle were isolated and have been humanely culled.

‘Impacts farming’

Strict rules on the movement of livestock from regions affected by bluetongue are already in place.

Farmers are reminded that animals imported from these regions must be accompanied by the relevant paperwork to clearly show they meet certain conditions designed to reduce disease risk, such as correct vaccination.

Following the interception of the infected animals, the UK remains officially bluetongue-free, the risk of the disease remains low and exports are not affected.

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer for the UK, Graeme Cooke said: “Bluetongue does not pose a threat to human health or food safety, but the disease impacts farming, causing reduced milk yield in cows and infertility in sheep.

“This detection is an example of our robust disease surveillance procedures in action but must highlight to farmers the risks which come with bringing animals from disease-affected areas into their herds. Regulations and systems are in place for the benefit of our UK livestock industry.

“It is also a clear reminder for farmers that the disease remains a threat, despite coming towards the end of the season when midges are active,” Mr Cooke said.

Report suspicions

Farmers have been urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA. Farmers should work with their importer to make sure effective vaccination needs are complied with, source animals responsibly and consider the health status of their own herd if they are not protected

Movement restrictions will remain in place on the premises for at least several weeks until testing rules out spread via local midges.

Farmers have the option to send animals without fully compliant paperwork back to France or to cull them as a measure to reduce the risk of disease spreading to susceptible UK livestock.

The most recent case of the disease in the UK came in 2007. The UK has been officially free from the disease since July 2011.


Source: Farming UK

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