Agribusiness
New Website Allows U.S. Grains Council to Share More Information, Market Data PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Marri Carrow   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 08:09

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2012 —  The U.S. Grains Council, which develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products, has launched a significantly enhanced website at grains.org.

The website, a component of the Council’s branding and communications initiative, presents the latest news and data relating to the U.S. and global grain trade. The site includes charts that present current FOB reference prices and market spreads for several commodities at port, as well as top U.S. export customers and additional information that is helpful for foreign buyers and those monitoring grain markets and exports.

“The U.S. Grains Council gathers a significant amount of information every week, and this new website helps us present that information to members and interested parties in a more timely and more organized fashion,” said Don Fast, USGC vice chairman and barley farmer from Glasgow, Mont. “We also highlight key issues and policy positions taken by the Council to make it clear what the Council and its members believe —  that open, liberalized trade of all goods and services is vital to the prosperity of the world economy.”

Included on the site are details from each of the Council’s 10 foreign offices, as well as a market overview, supply and demand information and market growth potential for more than 25 countries.

News and information is integrated throughout the site and our new Word from the Ground post offers a place for our professional staff and consultants to provide additional insight on pressing issues on a daily basis,” said Fast.

A new members-only area will debut later this year. The My USGC member center, formally known as The GRAIN Center, will allow members to renew membership, update information, register for events and download members-only documents from the Council’s extensive resource library.

For more information, contact Marri Carrow, USGC manager of communications, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 202-789-0789.

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The U.S. Grains Council is a private, non-profit partnership of farmers and agribusinesses committed to building and expanding international markets for U.S. barley, corn, grain sorghum and their products. The Council is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 10 international offices that oversee programs in more than 50 countries. Financial support from our private industry members, including state checkoffs, agribusinesses, state entities and others, triggers federal matching funds from the USDA resulting in a combined program value of more than $28.3 million.

 
HUXLEY TOOL-MAKING COMPANY EARNS IOWA FARM BUREAU’S RENEW RURAL IOWA ENTREPRENEUR OF MONTH AWARD PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:28

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – FEB. 27, 2012 – This month’s Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa entrepreneur of the month award recognizes an innovative tool-making company. Based in Huxley, Kreg Tool Company is a family-owned business that has steadily expanded its reach to woodworkers around the world while helping the local community.

“Kreg Tool Company is a great asset for the community. It brings jobs to the community, it brings people to the community,” said Huxley Mayor Craig Henry. “All things we want to see in a business is here at Kreg Tool.”

The Kreg Jig got its start in 1986 when Craig Sommerfeld, a tool and die maker by trade and a woodworker at heart, invented the tool while building his home. The easy and effective way to join wood quickly caught on at craft and trade shows. After years of selling the jig on his own, Sommerfeld and his wife, Kathie, founded the company in Huxley.

The business employed 12 people in 1990. Today, 115 employees work at Kreg Tool Company and the business has expanded its product line and facilities. Kreg products are available through distribution outlets across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and more.

“Our tools are just inspiring people to get into woodworking,” said Sommerfeld’s son, Todd, who is president of the company. “We have a product that is easy to use and works as promised…that’s been successful in building our brand. Our goal is to help our customers have more success with woodworking.”

Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an Iowa Farm Bureau Federation initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources. Look for RRI at EntreFest, held Mar. 8-9 in Ames. For more information, go to www.EntreFest.com. For more information about RRI, visit www.renewruraliowa.com.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online Newsroom page at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

 
Soy Checkoff Executive Named Agribusiness Leader of the Year PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Erin Hamm   
Monday, 27 February 2012 16:28

ST. LOUIS (February 24, 2012) - John Becherer, CEO of the United Soybean Board (USB) and national soy checkoff, has been named the 2012 Agribusiness Leader of the Year by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). This award, NAMA’s highest honor, will be presented at the opening general session of the 2012 Agri-Marketing Conference, “Acres of Innovation,” on April 19 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The award honors outstanding leaders in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness-related areas who exemplify excellence in agribusiness by their significant contributions to the industry.

“This is NAMA’s highest award, and it honors executives throughout agriculture for their leadership and innovation,” said Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D., and USB chair. “On behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers, I want to thank John for his unwavering commitment to creating profit opportunities for every U.S. soybean farmer. We should all feel proud of our great USB achievements with John serving as our CEO.” 

For nearly 18 years, John Becherer has guided a board of more than 60 volunteer U.S. soybean farmer-directors through times of growth and change. The soy checkoff organization marked its 20th anniversary in 2011. Global demand for soybeans has increased more than 150 percent since the soy checkoff began in 1991. Becherer helped build this growth at a pace that has outperformed global demand for any other major U.S. row crop. 

Last year alone, Becherer helped USB farmer-leaders create a new long-range strategic plan; develop a new effort that could redefine how the marketplace determines the value of U.S. soy and reward U.S. soybean farmers for quality; and direct the first formal, independent, third-party assessment of USB’s governance and structure in the organization’s 20 years of existence.
Becherer also engaged private industry to more effectively build confidence among consumers about today’s agriculture and our food supply by helping to create the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. The organization has grown to include more than 70 major U.S. farm and commodity organizations from just 20 when it began in 2010.

The soy checkoff leads the world in farmer-funded soy research and promotion and provides U.S. soybean farmers with an advantage in an increasingly competitive international agricultural sector.
In addition to leading the soy checkoff, Becherer continues to identify needs throughout the agriculture and soy industry. He was instrumental in forming organizations such as QUALISOY and Commodity Checkoff Roundtable to bring allied U.S. agricultural interests together.
Becherer received the 2009 Agribusiness Leader of the Year Award from the St. Louis club.

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedSoybeanBoard
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unitedsoy
View our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSoybeanBoard

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USDA STUDY SHOWS CROPLAND DECREASING, PRODUCTIVITY INCREASING PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:54

INTRO:  Is the conversion of farm land to land for housing reducing land available for food and fiber production? A recently released USDA study addresses that issue. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:45)

 

THE AMOUNT OF CROP LAND IS DECREASING IN THE UNITED STATES DUE TO A VARIETY OF FACTORS. THAT’S ONE OF THE CONCLUSIONS FROM THE MAJOR LAND USES STUDY BY THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE. THE STUDY EXAMINED DATA ON LAND USE TRENDS FROM NINETEEN FORTY-FIVE TO TWO THOUSAND SEVEN.

 

Cynthia Nickerson, USDA ERS: We see productivity increases that are allowing farmers to grow more on less land over time and the reasons also vary by region. In some regions of the country where you have significant pressures to provide land for housing for example, you’ll see declines in crop land. In other regions of the country it could be for other competing demands for land.

 

THE STUDY ALSO SHOWED THAT THE NATION’S CROPLAND IS BECOMING MORE CONCENTRATED IN AN AREA COMPRISED OF IOWA, INDIANA, MISSOURI, OHIO, AND ILLINOIS.

 

Nickerson: In 2007 we estimated about twenty five percent of total cropland is located in these five states, up from twenty one percent in 1964. On the other hand in the northeast and the southeast we’ve seen a long-term decline in cropland uses, and that’s due primarily to two reasons, urban pressures and demands for land for housing and secondly because relative to other regions these regions don’t have as favorable conditions for growing crops or marketing them.

 

AND DESPITE THE GROWTH OF MANY CITIES AND MORE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS, THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE U-S IS STILL RURAL.

 

Nickerson: The land in urban areas plus this rural residential land outside of urban areas still represents a very small portion of the total U.S. land base. About seven percent.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO E-R-S DOT U-S-D-A DOT GOV. I’M BOB ELLISON FOR THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

 
SECRETARY VILSACK SEES CONTINUED STRONG FARM ECONOMY AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:48

INTRO:  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum that a good farm economy could be further bolstered with help from Congress. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (2:14)

 

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY TOM VILSACK SAID TWENTY-TWELVE SHOULD BE ANOTHER GOOD YEAR FOR THE NATION’S FARM ECONOMY. SPEAKING TO THE ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK FORUM HELD NEAR WASHINGTON D-C, VILSACK SAID THAT STRONG AG EXPORTS SHOULD BOOST THE FARM ECONOMY.

 

Tom Vilsack, Agriuclture Secretary: Strong trade opportunities bolstered by the passage of three free trade agreements last year, combined with Russia’s possible inclusion in the W-T-O, recent China purchase announcements and discussions of a trans-pacific trade partnership make us confident of having another strong year in trade. At the same time our domestic markets are expected to expand as well, with an improving economy, continued population of popular local and regional food systems and the development and the expansion of the bio-based products industry.

 

AND VILSACK SAID CONGRESS COULD HELP THE BIO-BASED PRODUCTS INDUSTRY WITH ATTENTION IN THE NEXT FARM BILL.

 

Vilsack: With the emergence of new ways to use crops, grasses, woody biomass and livestock waste to produce chemicals, polymers and fibers in thousands of biobased companies across rural America you can understand why I’m excited about the future of American agriculture and of rural America. Now as Congress considers the next farm bill efforts should be placed on programs and strategies to help this bio-economy take hold.

 

AND ALSO ON THE NEXT FARM BILL, VILSACK CALLED ON CONGRESS TO CONSIDER U-S AGRICULTURE’S LONG-TERM VIABILITY.

 

Vilsack: To attract and retain the next generation of farmers, we need to be far more creative in the crafting of this farm bill than we’ve been in past farm bills. We must make a commitment to the next generation of farmers and we must make that commitment as important to the nation’s future as any other commitment we make to the future generations of scientists, engineers or teachers because after all nobody can do their job very well without food.

 
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