Remember NAIS, or National Animal Identification System? It was the USDA program that was essentially abandoned after drawing ire from producers who thought the system was difficult and expensive to initiate. After dropping the concept of NAIS, USDA officials worked on developing a program that was more flexible and that would improve the ability to track animal movement across state lines, and came up with USDA/APHIS veterinarian Dr. Paul Pitcher says one justification for a national database of beef cattle is the international market. “Our consumers are present around the globe,” said Pitcher. “Producers in the United States are under the gun to be more responsive to the international customer. Animal traceability is becoming more important and will impact producers’ ability to make a profit.” Continue reading
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting, announced extended deadlines for the dairy Margin Protection Program. Farmers now have until Dec. 5, 2014, to enroll in the voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. Continue reading
BERLIN, NY — At the sixth annual 2014 National GrassFed Exchange meeting in Columbia, MO, New York State’s own grazing advocate and beef farmer, Morgan Hartman of Black Queen Angus Farm in Berlin, NY coveted the prestigious Innovative Producer of the Year Award.
The theme of the conference and of the awards was land stewardship, providing consumers with healthy food products and helping others. Four hundred people from 40 states and three provinces of Canada applauded as Morgan graciously accepted his award, honoring him for making a difference in forage based agriculture. Continue reading
Agricultural mediation programs can significantly reduce resolution costs and personal angst for conflicts between agricultural producers, their creditors, neighbors or others directly affected. Benefits of mediation include significant savings over litigation, bankruptcy hearings and administrative appeals. Mediation can help repair relationships between parties, while the traditional legal process often leaves all parties financially burdened and emotionally drained. Continue reading