Archive for the ‘News and Events’ Category

DairyProfit Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: March 30, 2011

Settlement calls for Dean Foods to sell Wisconsin plant

Attorneys General in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in filing proposed consent decrees requiring Dean Foods to sell its milk processing plant in Waukesha, Wis. The proposed settlement is the result of a federal lawsuit (U.S. et al. v. Dean Foods Co., case number 2:10-cv-00059, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin), filed last year challenging Dean’s 2009 acquisition of the plant from Foremost Farms USA, a Wisconsin-based dairy farmer-owned cooperative. The lawsuit alleged Dean’s ownership of the plant presented antitrust concerns and could adversely affect the price of milk for retailers.

Dean will have 90 days to sell the plant, or the court will appoint a trustee, empowered to sell it. The new owner will have access to all of the Waukesha plant assets, including the right to continue the Golden Guernsey and La Vaca Bonita brands.

Southeast Milk plaintiff attorneys join new firm

The attorney team acting as counsel for plaintiffs in the Southeast Milk antitrust class action lawsuit has joined a new law firm. Howrey, the law firm that initiated the antitrust action against Dean Foods, Dairy Farmers of America and others, dissolved earlier this year. That team has now joined Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Baker & Hostetler. Robert Abrams, former cochair of Howrey’s global litigation practice, and lead plaintiff attorney in the Southeast Milk litigation case, will now become head of Baker & Hostetler’s national antitrust practice, according to Julie Walker, AgriVoice.

MARKETS: Butter, blocks down

Closing on Wednesday, March 30:

Cheddar barrels: down 0.75¢, to $1.6175/lb.

Cheddar blocks: down 3.25¢, to $1.6325/lb.

Butter: down 6.5¢, to $2.00/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: down 1.5¢, to $1.7350/lb.

Class III milk futures: steady to mostly lower, -2¢ to -21¢/cwt., through February 2012.

Corn futures: mostly steady to -8.4¢/bushel through September 2012.

Soybean futures: +9.2¢ to +20.4¢/bushel through September 2012.

Soybean meal futures: mostly steady to +$2.20/ton through March 2012.

Tomorrow: March 31 is crucial to the direction of grain prices, with release of USDA’s Grain Stocks and Planting Intentions reports.

 

NEW PRODUCTS

ANIMART Launches new Dairysan® Line

Dynamint® Udder Treatment in Jumbo Pack

Pioneer Hi-Bred adds Inoculant product

 

EASTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

PDPW Foundation announces new fundraising campaign

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation has launched a new campaign to allow dairy producers to easily contribute to support its programming. The “Two Cents for Tomorrow” campaign seeks to raise at least $2 million annually to help bolster the industry through producer-driven education programs. The campaign invites producers to contribute up to 2¢/cwt. of milk from their farms.

Check for daily DPW news updates at www.dairybusiness.com.

 

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

Dave Natzke, Editor

 

 

Settlement calls for Dean Foods to sell Wisconsin plant

Attorneys General in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in filing proposed consent decrees requiring Dean Foods to sell its milk processing plant in Waukesha, Wis.

The proposed settlement is the result of a federal lawsuit (U.S. et al. v. Dean Foods Co., case number 2:10-cv-00059, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin), filed last year challenging Dean Foods Company’s 2009 acquisition of the Waukesha-based plant from Foremost Farms USA, a a dairy farmer-owned coopertive headquartered in Baraboo, Wis. The lawsuit alleged Dean’s ownership of the plant presented antitrust concerns and could adversely affect the price of milk for retailers.

Dean will have 90 days to sell the Waukesha plant to a new owner. If Dean fails in its efforts to sell the Waukesha plant, the court will appoint a trustee, who will be empowered to sell the plant. The new owner of the Waukesha plant will have access to all of the Waukesha plant assets, including the right to continue the Golden Guernsey and La Vaca Bonita brands.

Dean will retain ownership of another plant purchased from Foremost Farms in 2009, in DePere, Wis.

The consent decree also requires Dean to notify DOJ 30 days before the company acquires any milk processing plant valued at more than $3 million.

DOJ determined that the divestiture of the Waukesha plant addressed the competitive concerns in Illinois and Wisconsin. The attorney general for the state of Michigan filed a separate settlement to address competitive concerns regarding school milk in that state.  If approved by the court, the settlement would resolve the civil antitrust lawsuit filed by DOJ and the state attorneys general on Jan. 22, 2010, and would resolve the lawsuit’s competitive concerns.

The complaint alleged that after the acquisition of the Waukesha plant, Dean had more than 60% of the fluid-milk sales in northeastern Illinois, including Chicago, and about 57% of the market for processed milk in northeastern Illinois, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin. The complaint said the acquisition allegedly deprived retailers of the benefits of substantial head-to-head competition between Dean Foods and Foremost Farms.

The proposed settlement, along with the department’s competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register, as required by the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act.  Public comments regarding the proposed final judgment will be accepted within 60 days of publication to: Joshua H. Soven, Chief, Litigation I Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 5th Street, N.W., Suite 4100, Washington, D.C. 20530.   At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the court may enter the final judgment upon a finding that it serves the public interest.

 

World Dairy Expo board elects leaders

World Dairy Expo’s 2011 Executive Committee members include, Front Row (L to R): Bill Barlass, Secretary/Treasurer; Mark Clarke, World Dairy Expo General Manager; Debbie Crave, 1st Vice President; Dean Hermsdorf, 2nd Vice President; and Mike Holschbach, President. Back Row: Jeff Lyon, ex-officio member; Steve Strickler, representing Dairy Farmers of America; Steve Larson, at-large representative; and Tom Morris, Tom Morris, Ltd., Dairy Cattle Show Committee Chair. Missing from photo: Bob Kaiser, Dairy Cattle Show Superintendent.

World Dairy Expo’s Board of Directors elected eight individuals to the Executive Committee at their annual meeting, held recently at the Alliant Energy Center. Officers include:

President:  Mike Holschbach, Heatherstone Enterprises, Inc., Baraboo, Wis.

1st Vice President:  Debbie Crave, Crave Brothers Farm, LLC, Waterloo, Wis.

2nd Vice President:  Dean Hermsdorf, Vita Plus Corporation, Cottage Grove, Wis.

Secretary/Treasurer: Bill Barlass, Barlass Jerseys, Janesville, Wis.

Also serving on the Executive Committee are:

Tom Morris, Tom Morris Ltd., Amery, Wis.; Steve Larson, Hoard’s Dairyman, Fort Atkinson, Wis.; Steve Strickler, Strickler Farms, Iola, Kan.; and Bob Kaiser, University of Wisconsin Extension, Juneau, Wis.

Mark Clarke, World Dairy Expo General Manager; and Jeff Lyon, Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) serve as ex-officio members of the Executive Committee.

Committee leaders elected

World Dairy Expo’s Dairy Cattle Show Committee also elected new leaders. Tom Morris of Tom Morris, Ltd, Amery, Wis., will serve as Chair of the committee.  He succeeds John Dalton, who provided leadership to the committee for the past four years.  Bryan Voegeli of Voegeli Farms, Monticello, Wis., was elected Vice Chair.

The 2011-12 Commercial Exhibitor’s Committee Chair is Dean Hermsdorf of Vita Plus Corporation and Jane Griswold, representing Hoard’s Dairyman, Fort Atkinson, Wis., serves as Vice Chair.


Individuals appointed to serve on World Dairy Expo’s Board of Directors include, Front Row (L to R): Dave Kyle, Kylecrest Holsteins, LLC, Elkhorn, Wis., representing Foremost Farms; Tom Morris, Tom Morris, Ltd., Amery, Wis., Chair of the Dairy Cattle Show Committee and Ernie Kueffner, Kueffner Holsteins & Jerseys, Boonsboro, Md. Back Row (L to R): Jeff Lyon, Deputy Secretary of WDATCP, Madison, Wis. (ex-officio member); Chuck Miller, representing Nasco, Fort Atkinson, Wis.; and Bob Hagenow, Vita Plus Corporation, Madison, Wis. Missing from photo is ex-officio board member, William F. Tracy, interim dean of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

New board members welcomed

World Dairy Expo’s Board of Directors is composed of a variety of dairy business professionals and producers representing numerous industry organizations.  The board was established in 1970 when World Dairy Expo, Inc. was formed.

The following individuals were appointed to seats in 2011:

Jeff Lyon, Deputy Secretary of WDATCP, Madison, Wis. (ex-officio member); Chuck Miller, representing Nasco, Fort Atkinson, Wis.; Bob Hagenow, Vita Plus Corporation, Madison, Wis.; Dave Kyle, Kylecrest Holsteins, LLC, Elkhorn, Wis., representing Foremost Farms USA; Tom Morris, Tom Morris, Ltd., Amery, Wis., Chair of the Dairy Cattle Show Committee and Ernie Kueffner, Kueffner Holsteins & Jerseys, Boonsboro, Md. Also serving as an ex-officio member is William F. Tracy, interim dean of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

“Around the World of Dairy in 5 Days” is the theme for World Dairy Expo 2011, which will take place Tuesday through Saturday, October 4 – 8 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.worlddairyexpo.com.

 

Cropp dairy outlook: 2011 has hit its peak

By Bob Cropp, Professor Emeritus
University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Farm milk prices have shown strong increases since the beginning of the year.

• Class III increased from $13.48/cwt. in January to $17.00/cwt. in February, and will be above $19.00/cwt. for March.

• Class IV increased from $16.42/cwt. in January to $18.40/cwt. in February and will be near $19.70/cwt. for March.

• The U.S. average all milk price increased from $16.70/cwt. in January to $18.40/cwt. for February, and will be near $19/cwt. for March.

But, these prices most likely will be the peak for the year. While butter, nonfat dry milk and dry whey prices are holding up cheese prices turned sharply down. CME butter has been at $2.12/lb. since March 7 before showing some weakness on March 16. As of March 18, butter was $2.07/lb.

Western nonfat dry milk has been in the range of $1.48 to $1.68/lb.; and dry whey $0.45 to $0.52/lb.

On the CME, 40-pound cheddar blocks peaked at $2.02/lb. on March 3, started to show some weakness on March 8, and declined sharply on March 14. As of March 18, blocks had fallen $0.335, to $1.685/lb.
Likewise, CME cheddar barrels peaked at $1.98/lb. on March 3, showed some weakness on March 10 and, as of March 18, barrels had fallen $0.28, to $1.70/lb., Near month Class III futures responded with sharp declines as well.

It now looks like the Class III price will be well below $17/cwt. by April, and could be in the low $16′s from May to early fall; and then recover to the high $16′s or higher. The continuation of strong exports of nonfat dry milk and dry whey are anticipated and should hold up prices of these products to mid summer or early fall. Class IV could approach $20/cwt. by April and remain in the $19/cwt. range to early fall before falling in the $17 to $18/cwt. range. Dry whey could stay in the $0.40/lb. to near $0.50/lb. range until fall which will help to support the Class III price.

This decline in cheese and Class III prices was not unexpected. Cheese and Class III prices peaked at levels that were unexpected based on the level of cheese stocks, cheese production and the level of milk production. Cheese exports were 60% higher in 2010 than the year before and 96% higher in January than a year ago which helped to support cheese prices. But, 2010 cheese exports are just 3.7% of cheese production while January exports improved to 4.7% of production. Cheese production has been well above a year ago with January production of cheddar cheese up 5.6% and total cheese production up 5.0%. Cheese sales have held up quite well despite higher prices. But, yet American cheese stocks increased slightly from December to January and were 9% higher than a year ago as of January 31st and total cheese stocks 7% higher, the most for this date since 1987.

Butter prices may well weaken more, but yet remain relatively high. Butter producers have been some what reluctant to build up stocks in fear that high butter prices were not sustainable. Butter production increased just 2.7% in January over a year ago. Butter stocks increased 46% from December to January, but remain 29% below a year ago and the lowest stocks for this date since 2005. Butter exports were strong in 2010, up 99% from the year before and accounted for about 8% of butterfat production. Butter as well as cheese exports for 2011 are expected to be favorable, but considerably lower than last year’s levels.

Cheese prices could well rebound some increasing the Class III price by summer and fall. But, this will require a slow down in milk production. USDA’s estimate of February milk production was up 2.4% from a year ago for the 23 reporting states and up 2.0% for U.S. as a whole. For the U.S. cow numbers did not increase in February but were 0.7% higher than a year ago. Increases in milk per cow appear to be slowing some with February’s production per cow 1.3% higher than a year ago.

Of the 23 reporting states, 19 had higher milk production than a year ago. The 4 states with less milk production were Illinois -3.2%; Missouri -2.7%; Utah -0.7%; and Pennsylvania -0.2%. Florida led all states with relative increases in milk production with February’s production 12.2% higher than a year ago. All Western states continue with increases in milk production with production up as much as 8.8% in Texas; 7.3% in Arizona; 5.7% in Colorado; and 3.4% in Idaho. Production was up just 2.4% in California. For the Northeast, as indicated, production was down 0.2% in Pennsylvania, but 3.8% and 2.7% higher, respectively, for New York and Michigan. In the Upper Midwest, production was up just 0.5% in Wisconsin; 1.2% in Iowa; with production down 0.8% in Minnesota.

Milk production is likely to show relatively smaller increases as we approach summer. Corn prices remain at high levels. February hay prices at the national level are 15% higher than a year ago with prices up as much as 56% in California and 39% in Idaho. With lower milk prices returns over feed costs will be squeezed encouraging increase herd culling and reduced grain and concentrate feeding. With 3% more replacement heifers to calve this year, the average number of milk cows for the year may not decline from last year, but a smaller increase in milk per cow could hold the increase in total milk production for the year below 2%. Then if domestic sales can continue to show growth as well as favorable dairy exports, Class III prices will strengthen the last half of the year reaching at least the high $16′s. Summer weather conditions for cow comfort and growing conditions for crops will also be an important factor determining were milk prices will be later this year.

Robert Cropp
racropp@wisc.edu
University of Wisconsin-Madison

DairyProfit Friday, March 25, 2011

An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: March 25, 2011

Cull cows

USDA estimated 248,800 culled dairy cows were slaughtered under federal inspection in February 2011, down about 15,100 head from January 2011, but 25,800 head more than February 2010. January-February 2011 dairy cow slaughter is estimated at 512,700 head, up 57,700 from the same period in 2010.

According to USDA’s latest livestock and dairy outlook report, total cumulative weekly cow (beef and dairy combined) slaughter was up about 3% over year-earlier totals, through Feb. 26, despite a 39% year-over-year decline in imports of Canadian slaughter cows. Dairy cow slaughter, was up 11% through Feb. 26; beef cow slaughter declined more than 4%. Dairy cows hang heavier carcasses than beef cows, adding to average dressed weights.

MARKETS: Has the bleeding stopped?

Closing on Friday, March 25:

Cheddar barrels: unchanged, at $1.64/lb.

Cheddar blocks: up 0.25¢, to $1.6275/lb.

Butter: up 0.5¢, to $2.0750/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.75/lb.

Class III milk futures: +9¢ to 52¢/cwt,, April 2011-March 2012.

Corn futures: -5.2¢ to -13.6¢/bushel through September 2012.

Soybean futures: +3.6¢ to +9.0¢/bushel through September 2012.

Soybean meal futures: -$2.60 to -$0.30/ton through March 2012.

Next week: March 31 is crucial to the direction of grain prices, with release of USDA’s Grain Stocks and Planting Intentions reports.

The week in review

Cash cheddar block cheese prices continued their decent, but did inch back up a quarter-cent on Friday, noted DairyLine Radio’s Lee Mielke. Cheddar blocks closed Friday at $1.6275/lb., down 5.75¢ on the week, but 30.25¢ more than the corresponding week a year ago. Blocks have declined 38.75¢ in two weeks. Cheddar barrels closed at $1.64/lb., down 6¢ on the week, but 32.75¢ more than a year ago. A whopping 63 cars of blocks traded hands on the week; four of barrels.

Butter finished the week at $2.0750′lb., up a 0.5¢/lb., and 58.5¢ more than the corresponding week a year ago. Thirty-one carloads were sold on the week.

Cash Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Friday at $1.75/lb., down 4¢; Extra Grade held all week at $1.80/lb.

EASTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

OSHA looking to do more on-farm safety inspections

The Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) hasn’t spent a lot of time in recent years inspecting Wisconsin farm operations for worker safety compliance, but that’s about to change. During the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin annual business conference, Mary Bauer, an OSHA compliance assistant specialist, explained a recent increase in on-farm fatalities is prompting the agency to add dairy farms to its list of inspection sites throughout the state.

DAIRYLINE RADIO

Monday: Dairy product research

In Monday’s DairyLine broadcast, California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) executive director Joe O’Donnell discusses the dairy checkoff’s role in new product development. To read the DairyLine broadcast comments, visit www.dairyline.com under “Today’s Dairy News.” Or, listen to the conversation with DairyLine’s Lee Mielke by clicking on “DairyLine Daily Broadcast.”

Check for daily DPW news updates at www.dairybusiness.com.

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

Dave Natzke, Editor

 

This week in DairyProfit Weekly

This week in Dairy Profit Weekly:

1) DFA annual meeting: “Recovery mixed with uncertainty” might be the best way to describe the general mood at the 13th annual meeting of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). More than 1,300 members and guests attended the meeting of the nation’s largest dairy co-op, March 21-23, in Kansas City, Mo.

2) FFTF: DFA and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association endorsed the National Milk Producers Federation’s Foundation for the Future federal dairy policy package proposal; Western United Dairymen’s Jamie Bledsoe said the organization is still seeking consensus; and the National Farmers Union delegates said current federal policies need to be improved, not replaced.

3) DPW Trends: February milk production in the 23 major dairy states totaled 14.0 billion lbs., up 2.4% from February 2010. January-February 2011 dairy cow slaughter is estimated at 512,700 head, up 57,700 from the same period in 2010.

4) DPW Industry: A just-published white paper, Making safe, affordable and abundant food a global reality, authored by Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco, proposes a rational approach to address world hunger, spear-headed by technology-driven efficiency.

5) DPW Washington: Updates on LGM-Dairy; USDA’s approval of the promotion assessment on imports; and another “Roundup Ready” alfalfa lawsuit.

Next week: March 31 is crucial to the direction of grain prices, with release of USDA’s Grain Stocks and Planting Intentions reports.

Dave Natzke, Editor

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

 

 

WUD: Working toward dairy unity

“Building unity has never been tougher and more important,” Western United Dairymen (WUD) president Jamie Bledsoe told those gathered in Visalia, March 17, for WUD’s annual convention. “How we handle volatility and risk is critical. Ordinarily, we would like to be able to forecast out five years. But for now we need to focus on the next 12 months and decide what important issues we have to tackle.”

Bledsoe pointed out WUD membership “overwhelmingly supports” the adoption of California (enhanced) standards for milk solids nationally. WUD, working with others across the nation, is forming a coalition to promote the “Standardization of Milk Solids” as law. “Let’s put more milk in the milk!” urged Bledsoe.

Bledsoe acknowledged the upcoming Farm Bill debate will revolve around contentious debates about milk pricing policy. WUD has been “actively engaged” with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) on its Foundation for the Future policy proposal.

“We have been giving them information about what we think is best for California dairy families and we will continue to be engaged,” he said.  WUD’s board of directors is committed to trying to reach “some type of consensus among the California dairy industry” and will try to meet with various groups to discuss policy options.

Bledsoe called for unity among dairy producer organizations. He noted that WUD’s board of directors recently met in a strategic planning session and decided that finding common ground with other organizations on key issues would be a critical task in the coming months.

The list of issues with which there is common ground is impressive, said Bledsoe, including:

  • The devastating impact of federal ethanol policy on feed costs.
  • The importance of educating consumers about our business
  • A proactive approach to animal welfare
  • Providing a reliable and adequate water supply
  • Developing global markets
  • Investing in air quality research

WUD has been “adamantly opposed” to   federal ethanol mandates and is “working diligently with our advocates in Washington and Sacramento to bring an end to this nonsense.”  Bledsoe praised Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her recently introduced legislation that would repeal the 45-cent-per gallon subsidy for corn ethanol blenders, saving the nation approximately $6 billion a year. In addition, the bill would lower the tariff on imported ethanol to match the 45-cent-per gallon subsidy that will remain in place under Senator Feinstein’s legislation for non-corn, second generation “advanced biofuels.”

WUD has a long history of working with the California congressional delegation on responsible federal conservation and renewable energy policy, explained Bledsoe. “We thank Senator Feinstein for her efforts to effect positive change to an ethanol policy that has eroded the international competitiveness of California’s dairy families,” he said.

Global outlook strong for California exports

California is well positioned to take advantage of a steady growth in demand for U.S. dairy products, according to Mark Piper, vice president of sourcing for Fonterra (USA) Inc. Piper gave an upbeat assessment to the convention crowd, saying that California is well located to provide dairy products into an Asian market that is consuming more and more dairy products as the middle class flexes its economic clout.

Exports to China continue to surge, said Piper. “It has surprised everyone,” he said. “Cities are getting larger and the middle class is growing.” The long-term forecast for Chinese demand is favorable, in his opinion.

U.S. dairy exports have continued to rise over the past year and the overall trend for U.S. exports remains favorable, he said. “Quality expectations have risen and will continue to rise,” opening the door for increased California dairy exports, he predicted.

Myths exploded about environmental impact of dairy production

Dr. Jude Capper, assistant professor, Washington State University, had a simple message for convention attendees: All the talk about the huge carbon footprint of the dairy industry is just that—all talk, no fact. Her research shows that in 1944, it took four cows to produce the same amount of milk as one cow produced in 2007. The dairy industry’s carbon footprint must be evaluated on the basis of its production, not on a per cow basis, she argued. Using that basis, the carbon footprint per pound of milk has been reduced by two-thirds from 1944 to 2007.

“Compared to 1944, now we have bigger cows, they eat more feed, but they also give more milk, so milk yield per cow has increased four-fold since 1944,” she explains. “We’ve cut cow numbers by 60%, but we also make 59% more milk, so that cut the total carbon footprint per gallon of milk, which is huge.”

New CDFA secretary pledges partnership

Newly appointed California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross hailed a “great partnership with the California dairy industry that has been proactive and forward looking in how we address critical environmental issues so you can stay in business.” Ross delivered her remarks Thursday, March 17, at Western United Dairymen’s annual convention, in Visalia, Calif.

Ross’ upbeat comments set the tone for the convention as California dairy families set their sights on the future following two years of low milk prices coupled with feed costs that have caused severe economic distress to the California dairy industry.  According to CDFA statistics, California dairy producer income plummeted from $6.9 billion in 2008 to $4.5 billion in 2009.  Starting in late 2010 and continuing into early 2011, prices have begun to increase, but skyrocketing feed costs have continued to cut into producer profitability.

Ross said the Brown Administration’s highest priority was focusing on state budget issues. “If we don’t get our fiscal house in order, we can’t do anything else,” she said. She highlighted the $15 million in CDFA cuts proposed by a coalition of farm groups with which WUD participated and said further cuts could be in order. Cuts have been aimed to ensure that CDFA’s programs will continue to provide “the technical expertise needed for the sound science on which to base decisions about environmental issues.”

Addressing increasing concern about state regulations and the burden they place on farmers, Ross said that while CDFA often does not have statutory authority in regulatory areas of greatest concern to farmers, CDFA will “be an advocate for agriculture with other state agencies. I am very committed to doing this.” Ross said it was important that producer groups provide “specific examples of what’s broken” in terms of regulatory programs so that progress can be made in that area.

Another priority for Ross is promoting efforts to educate consumers about the source of their food supply. “Ag in general has been a mystery to the public,” she said. “Consumers have a new interest in where their food comes from. People have a strong desire to connect to producers. There is a tremendous opportunity to participate in conversations about where our food comes from.”

Ross acknowledged that she had a steep learning curve when it came to the dairy industry and she was taking the time to get educated. “The most important thing is how we work together,” she explained. “I am looking forward to working with you and learning more about the California dairy industry.”


DairyProfit Thursday, March 24, 2011

An (almost) daily recap of dairy information: March 24, 2011

USDA seeks biotech committee nominees

USDA is seeking nominations of qualified persons to serve as members of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). This committee will provide information and advice on issues related to agricultural biotechnology. Written nominations must be received by fax or postmarked on or before April 17. For information, visit the Federal Register.

Dairy checkoff partners with The Washington Post to combat childhood obesity

The dairy checkoff-led Fuel Up to Play 60 program and the Gen YOUth Foundation recently co-hosted  a childhood obesity summit with The Washington Post. The “Weighing In on America’s Future: Childhood Obesity Summit” highlighted successful approaches and programs, including Fuel Up to Play 60 and Gen YOUth, that are helping America’s children become healthier.

MARKETS: Barrels come down to blocks

Closing on Thursday, March 24:

Cheddar barrels: down 4.5¢, to $1.64/lb.

Cheddar blocks: unchanged, at $1.6250/lb.

Butter: unchanged, at $2.06/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.80/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.75/lb.

Class III milk futures: mostly higher, +3¢ to 53¢/cwt, April-December 2011.

Corn futures: +5.0¢ to +21.4¢/bushel through September 2012.

Soybean futures: +3.2¢ to +10.2¢/bushel through September 2012.

Soybean meal futures: +$0.10 to +$4.40/ton through September 2012.

EASTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

It’s a matter of trust

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) annual business conference featured several presentations on “trust,” whether it’s with consumers, customers, business partners, family members of employees. Click on these links to view summaries of the presentations:

• Dialogue Can Help Build Consumer Trust, by Linda Basse Wenck, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Morgan & Myers.
‘Speed of Trust’ Can Lead to Profits, or Loss of Business, by Stephen M.R. Covey, a nationally-recognized business leadership advisor.

Social Media Can Be Effective in Telling Agriculture’s Story, by California dairy producer Ray Prock

Lessons Learned from 3 Minutes, 44 Seconds of Video, by Ohio dairy producer Gary Conklin

WESTERN DAIRYBUSINESS

Opinions & Sacred Cows: Feeding the world with technology

With the world population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, we’re going to become a more hungry world for animal protein and feed grains, says Brian Rittgers, director of Global Field Management Development for Elanco. Western DairyBusiness editor Ron Goble shares Rittgers’ message, presented during World Ag Expo’s DairyProfit Seminars.

DAIRYLINE RADIO

Friday: DairyProfit Weekly

In Friday’s broadcast, DairyProfit Weekly editor Dave Natzke reviews highlights of the 13th annual meeting of the nation’s largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America. To read the DairyLine broadcast comments, visit www.dairyline.com under “Today’s Dairy News.” Or, listen to the conversation with DairyLine’s Lee Mielke by clicking on “DairyLine Daily Broadcast.”

Check for daily DPW news updates at www.dairybusiness.com.

For a sample copy of Dairy Profit Weekly, or subscription information, visit www.dairyprofit.com or phone: 800-334-1904, ext. 244.

Dave Natzke, Editor

 

 

Dairy checkoff partners with The Washington Post to combat childhood obesity

The dairy checkoff-led Fuel Up to Play 60 program and the Gen YOUth Foundation recently co-hosted  a childhood obesity summit with The Washington Post.

The “Weighing In on America’s Future: Childhood Obesity Summit” highlighted successful approaches and programs, including Fuel Up to Play 60 and Gen YOUth, that are helping America’s children become healthier.

More than 160 leading national decision-makers, health and nutrition professionals, academia, media and business leaders provided insight on childhood obesity through panel discussions, question-and-answer sessions and a live on-site poll. Dairy producers representing the checkoff-funded National Dairy Council (NDC) also attended.

The event was one piece of a larger, long-term, multi-pronged dairy checkoff strategy to grow sales of healthy dairy products and ingredients, build lifelong dairy values among the next generations of consumers and protect dairy’s right to operate.

Panel sessions focused on the role of government in childhood health and wellness, impact on health, and the role of schools and the community.

“The dairy industry and the many respected participants of this summit are helping to make  a positive impact on the lives of our nation’s children,”  said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Dairy Management Inc.™, which manages the national dairy checkoff. “While we can’t solve the problem alone, we are finding that collaboration and common goals can get us much closer to making a change. And what’s good for childhood nutrition is good for dairy.”

Following the panel discussions, Chef Carla Hall (Gen YOUth board member and Top Chef All-Star) served a lunch school-cafeteria style that showcased how a healthy meal can meet dietary guidelines, including low-fat dairy, within a school budget.

White House Chef and Policy Advisor Sam Kass spoke about nationwide initiatives, including Let’s Move! and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, and grassroots programs working  to improve childhood nutrition.

The summit generated an ongoing conversation on social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook. NDC social media activities (Fuel Up to Play 60 Facebook page, NDC Facebook page, Gen YOUth and NDC Twitterfeeds) and efforts byThe Washington Post  helped encourage participation to watch a live stream of the summit.

More information and video highlights of the summit can be found at http://washingtonpostlive.com/conferences/obesity

For more information about the checkoff, visit www.dairycheckoff.com

 

Technology, choice needed to address growing global food needs

Global food prices have reached record highs in the past months. Hunger afflicts more than 1 billion people around the world. Emerging nations seeking to diversify their citizens’ diets are driving demand for more food, while we’re learning more about how fragile our environment is.

Amidst all of these challenges, a just-published white paper, “Making safe, affordable and abundant food a global reality,” authored by Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco, proposes a rational approach to addressing a problem that has plagued mankind throughout history—hunger. Simmons’ paper outlines how highly efficient food production can help alleviate world hunger, lower food costs, protect consumer rights and safeguard the world’s natural resources.

At the crux of Simmons’ argument is the assertion that highly efficient food production achieved via modern agricultural technologies enables three rights:

Right #1: Food is a basic human right deserved by every man, woman and child. Yet despite rising levels of chronic hunger and food insecurity, some fringe groups want to restrict farmers’ access to technologies that make safe, affordable food more abundant.

Right #2: Choice is a consumer right. Elanco commissioned the International Consumer Attitudes Survey (ICAS), which evaluated 27 reports on consumer attitudes and behaviors along with a validation study by The Nielsen Company. Collectively, the survey represented the opinions of more than 97,000 consumers in 26 countries. The findings reveal that 95 percent of consumers purchase food based on three key factors: taste, cost and nutrition. These consumers are supportive or neutral about technology use in food production.

Right #3: Sustainability is environmentally right. Modern technology is allowing today’s farmers to produce more food while consuming fewer environmental resources and generating less waste. An acre of wheat globally today feeds nearly six people, compared to feeding just two people half a century ago. As emerging nations help drive demand for more food, technology provides a resource-efficient means of meeting rising demand.

Despite the Green Revolution’s legacy of employing agricultural technologies to improve yields and eradicate famines, some fringe groups seek to restrict farmers’ access to efficiency-enhancing technologies. They push for laws and regulations that make food production less efficient.

“The world already has a proven and powerful weapon to fight an affliction that killed more than 18 million people between 2008 and 2010. Denying people access to technology that can make safe, affordable food more abundant is wrong and a violation of basic rights all people deserve,” said Simmons.

Simmons authored a 2009 white paper titled “Food Economics and Consumer Choice,” which expanded upon the assertion that by 2050, the world will need to produce 100 percent more food and according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 70 percent of that food must be produced with efficiency-enhancing agricultural technologies. Both papers are posted at www.plentytothinkabout.org. Simmons encourages food producers, manufacturers and consumers to visit the blog and submit their comments on what it will take to feed 9 billion people by 2050.

About Elanco
Elanco is a global innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health and food-animal production in more than 75 countries. Elanco employs more than 2,300 people worldwide, with offices in more than 40 countries, and is a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a leading global pharmaceutical corporation. Additional information about Elanco is available at www.elanco.com.

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