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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Pork Forum Delegates Discuss HSUS Lawsuit

(Des Moines) -- Delegates of the National Pork Board met last week in Indianapolis, Indiana for the National Pork Forum.  The delegates of the National Pork Forum had an interesting meeting and according to Derrick Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa and the current President of the National Pork Board, discussion focused on the popular promotional phrase "Pork, The Other White Meat".  Nearly every consumer has at one time or another heard that popular catch phrase, and Sleezer says the pork check-off, along with the branded marketing phrase is responsible for the increase of demand for pork products.  Back in 2006, when the National Pork Board split from the National Pork Producers Council, the pork board entered a contract with the pork producers council to purchase the rights to the phrase "Pork, The Other White Meat".

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Sleezer says the terms of the contract even met with the approval from the U-S-D-A, and for several years both sides were in agreement with the contract terms and payments had been made.  However, recently, the Humane Society of the United States or HSUS, has filed a federal lawsuit contesting that contractual agreement.

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The Cherokee, Iowa pork producer says the National Pork Board still holds the rights to the phrase "Pork. The Other White Meat".  But he says, if the Humane Society of the United States should win the lawsuit, it would be costly for pork producers, and the industry would need to start over.

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The U-S Department of Agriculture has subsequently entered into settlement discussions with the Humane Society of the United States, and the federal agency has withheld the approval of the annual payments between the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council.  The USDA also wants another valuation of the popular trademark and phrase.  At the recent National Pork Forum, delegates from each representative state signed an advisement telling Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to allow the original terms of the contract to proceed.

 

   

National FFA Week Is Being Observed

(Le Mars) -- This week is recognized as National F-F-A Week, a week when we honor the largest youth organization and those who wear the blue cordoroy jackets, but hold gold standards.  Once known as Future Farmers of America, the organization has evolved over the years, and changes have occurred, including the name of the organization. Michael Tupper of New Hampton, Iowa, currently serves as the president of the Iowa FFA.  He says F-F-A has expanded to involve all careers in agriculture, not just production agriculture.

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Tupper says F-F-A doesn't necessarily teach youth about agriculture, as much as it utilizes agriculture as a means to teach responsibility, leadership, public speaking skills, confidence and character. He says those are the traits that employers and companies desire, and are looking for in a future employee.

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The Iowa FFA president says he was encouraged to join FFA from his two older sisters who also were members.  But he says it was the contacts he made and the friends he met that kept him in FFA.

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Tupper says there is a special connection with FFA and our first United States president, George Washington, and that is why FFA Week falls on or around Washington's birthday.

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When FFA chapters hold official meetings, Tupper says they again recognize Washington's influence, especially when the treasurer explains why they stand next to the emblem of George Washington.

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There are three FFA chapters within Plymouth County. They include Le Mars Community High School, Akron-Westfield High School and Kingsley-Pierson High School.

 

   

Winter Is Perfect Time To Inspect Windbreaks

(Le Mars) -- During the winter is a perfect time to check your windbreaks, according to a state technician with the Natural Resources and Conservation Services.  Chuck Hoelker says walking around your farmstead and feedlots at this time of year can provide you with valuable information helpful in making decisions about your windbreak.  Snow drifts in areas of the farmstead could indicate a need for additional snow catch areas to be planted.  Hoelker says windbreaks play an important role in the protection of livestock particularly for young animals.  By reducing wind velocity and the effects of cold temperatures, a good windbreak can significantly reduce stress on feed energy requirements.  The N-R-C-S official says a good windbreak around a farmstead will result in better animal health, lower mortality, reduced feed costs, and increased profitability in your livestock operation.  Hoelker says evergreens work well for windbreak protection, but he also recommends some shrubs.

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The N-R-C-S is now offering a cost-share program for farmers and landowners wanting to plant a windbreak.  Monte Dowlinger, also is a state technician with the N-R-C-S.  He says the N-R-C-S will provide up to 75 percent of the costs for planting a windbreak, with the farmer or landowner paying the remaining 25 percent. He explains the details of the cost-share program.

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Dowlinger says a properly planted windbreak will offer many benefits.  He says windbreaks have proven to help reduce odors emitting from livestock production facilities.

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Dowlinger says windbreaks can also add value to your farm.

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The N-R-C-S technician says other benefits to planting a windbreak include: added beauty to the home or farm, reduces the weathering effect on buildings, and provides food and shelter for wildlife.

   

Cattle Producers Concern Over Cattle Futures Trading

(Rock Valley) -- Last week cattle producers from across the nation gathered in San Diego, California for the National Cattlemens Beef Association convention and annual meeting.  One of the issues that was discussed at great length was the recent action of volatility market prices in the cattle futures.  Kent Pruismann, a cattle producer from Rock Valley, and a former president of the Iowa Cattlemen Association attended the San Diego conference and he says officials of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were invited to explain to cattle producers why the markets were acting like a yo-yo.

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Pruismann says once the CME officials shared data from the trading activity within the time period in question, many producers had a different opinion.

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The Sioux County cattle producer says the volatile trading happened during the last three months of 2015 and with the markets moving limit up and limit down, sometimes within the same day, it created a scenario making it difficult for cattle producers to utilize futures trading as an effective risk management tool.

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