Biodiesel Production Surpasses Requirements, Increases Optimism PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:04
Soy Biodiesel Helps America’s Advanced Biofuel Top 1 Billion Gallons  

ST. LOUIS (February 3, 2012) – Biodiesel became a one-billion gallon industry, setting an all-time production record last year. That’s thanks in part to its predominant fuel source: soy biodiesel. U.S. biodiesel production far exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 production requirement of 800 million gallons. In fact, production reached nearly 1.1 billion gallons, which surpassed the previous record of 690 million gallons set in 2008.

U.S. soybean farmers and their checkoff helped establish soy’s role in the biodiesel marketplace, originally looking for a new use of surplus soybean oil more than 20 years ago. Today, the soybean checkoff continues to support biodiesel through research and education efforts.

“As Americans, we have a need for an American fuel and the checkoff is seeing their investment start to come to fruition,” says Robert Stobaugh, soybean farmer from Atkins, Ark., and United Soybean Board farmer-director. “The checkoff marketing efforts at the state and national level helped soy become the primary source and we still have room for growth.”

The industry expects biodiesel production to grow even larger in 2012. And the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard requires it to meet 1 billion gallons again next year. As production continues to increase, diesel users will be able to find biodiesel more readily than ever before.

"Biodiesel is now more available and as it expands into metropolitan areas it will be easier for the rural areas to get a hold of it,” adds Stobaugh. “As our urban neighbors pick up the torch and carry it, we won’t have to ask for it – fuel suppliers will already have it.”

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.

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Agriculture Child Labor Regulations Re-proposed PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 03 February 2012 15:03

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley released the following statement after the Department of Labor announced it would be re-proposing a portion of its agriculture child labor regulations.  Grassley has vigorously defended the opportunity for kids to work on family farms.  He has said that generations of Iowans have cut their teeth working on the farm, whether for their own family, or a neighbor’s farm, and that young people are a valuable part of farming operations.

“It’s good the Labor Department is rethinking the ridiculous regulations it was going to stick on farmers and their families.  What would be best for everybody involved is to scrap the whole thing and allow farm families to operate in a manner consistent with the rural living that allows children to learn and grow as part of a rural community.”

Here’s a link to the Department of Labor’s press release.

News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 16:22

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Jan. 26, 2012 – Whether it’s moving massive structures such as wind turbine equipment, hauling out water vessels in Alaska or engineering a unique system to plant trees at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, HMR Supplies prides itself on solving literally the nation’s biggest  moving and transportation challenges. The Forest City company’s commitment to innovation has helped it earn the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month award.

HMR Supplies is an original equipment manufacturer that provides products for the heavy transport industry, including structural movers, large construction equipment moving or transportation of oil field, cement, marine and wind industry products.

The company started when founder Ron Holland of Forest City needed to raise his home to put in a basement. Holland ended up buying the house-moving business he used in 1977 and from there, began manufacturing Holland Dollies for resale. In 1999, Ron’s son, Chris, brought new skills to the company that he learned while studying electrical engineering at Iowa State University.  Chris and his wife, Natalie Hammer, helped turn the small manufacturing company into a global industry powerhouse, which still operates out of Forest City.

In addition to creating innovative products that move large loads, the company is hiring. Natalie said the company currently employs 18 people and hopes to grow to 50 in the next five years. “We’re helping bring people back to Iowa to work and raise their families,” said Natalie. “It’s part of the rural brain gain.”

Winnebago County Farm Bureau member Randi Benson said companies like HRM are vital to the rural area. “Without agriculture and businesses like this, there wouldn’t be a Main Street in Forest City,” said Benson. “It keeps the community going.”

Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources. The next Renew Rural Iowa Business Success Seminar takes place February 15th at the Muse-Norris Conference Center in Mason City.  For more information, go to



Nation’s Largest Organic Farming Conference Returns to La Crosse, WI, February 23-25 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Greg Leaf   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 11:00
SPRING VALLEY, WI – The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd annual Organic Farming Conference, February 23-25, 2012, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WI.

The annual Organic Farming Conference (OFC) is the nation’s largest and foremost educational and networking event for the organic farming community.

The farmer-centered OFC will feature more than 65 informative workshops, 160-plus exhibitors, nationally known keynote speakers, and locally sourced food and live entertainment. MOSES expects attendance to be about 3,000 farmers and agricultural professionals.

Held on Thursday, February 22 prior to the OFC, the Organic University will offer 10 full-day courses on various organic agriculture topics for novices and experts alike.

“We’re really focused on farmer-to-farmer education and networking at our conference,” notes Conference Co-Director Chris Blanchard.

Keynote Speakers

Two nationally recognized authorities are featured presenters at the OFC.

On Friday, February 23, Margaret Krome, Policy Program Director of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, will present: “Growing Food, Health and Democracy: How Farmers, Activists and Consumers are Finding Our Power and Transforming the Food System.”

On Saturday, February 24, Heinz Award-winning filmmaker Curt Ellis will present a rich multi-media presentation titled: “Growing Forward: The New Faces of Food and Farming.” King Corn filmmaker Ellis is Co-Founder of FoodCorps.

Organic Farmer of the Year

MOSES also will announce and feature the 2012 Organic Farmer of the Year award recipient. The award is granted annually to an outstanding organic farmer or farm family who are innovators; who excel in managing farm resources; and who serve as educators and examples in their communities and to the next generation of organic farmers.

Young Organic Stewards

Young people have always been at the heart of the OFC.  The Young Organic Stewards program recognizes, honors and supports the next generation of organic farmers through targeted workshops and social activities.

Attendance Details

Cost to attend the conference is $195, which includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, workshops, general sessions, admission to the exhibit hall and evening entertainment. Supper is available at the conference for $15 for adults.

The fee for the in-depth Organic University sessions on Thursday, February 22, is $170.

The deadline for OFC and Organic University advance registration is Monday, February 13. Walk-ins will be accepted after that for an added fee.

There are numerous events for children and teens throughout the conference, including childcare as well as discounted meals and attendance fees.

More information

To learn more, call MOSES at 715-778-5775 or go to our website,

James Andrew to represent Iowa on advisory council PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Kevin Stillman   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 10:56

James Andrew to represent Iowa
on America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM advisory council

Advisory council to help distribute more than $2.3 million to rural school districts

JEFFERSON, Iowa (January 25, 2012) –  James Andrew of Jefferson, Iowa, was selected to represent Iowa on the America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM Advisory Council, a board of 26 farmer leaders that determines the rural school district recipients of the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grants. This two-year assignment allows farmers on the council to help select which school districts are most deserving of $10,000 or $25,000 grants.
“America’s farmers have told us that nothing is more important than growing the next generation, so the Monsanto Fund created America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education as a way to help farmers improve school districts in their rural communities,” said Linda Arnold, Monsanto Customer Advocacy Lead. “We asked these 26 farmer leaders to represent the farmers in their state in the decision of how best to award the grant money.”
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council is made up of farmer leaders from across the country, who are actively engaged in their local communities through various leadership positions, such as a member of the local School Board, an active Farm Bureau leader or a member of an educational organization or committee within various organizations. The council is responsible for reviewing the top grant applications to select the winning school district in each USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD). These individuals are passionate about both agriculture and education, which is essential when choosing the best grant for each CRD.   
“The farmers on the Advisory Council are leaders in their rural communities,” said Arnold. “Their passion for both agriculture and education make them well-suited to help us review the grant applications.”
Andrew was chosen for his exemplary experience with state and national farm commodity groups including Iowa Corn Growers, Iowa Soybean Association, American Soybean Association and U.S. Grains Council. He cares deeply about the quality of education in his community and is dedicated to helping grow and develop local students. One way to do this is through increasing learning opportunities through additional funding and education projects. Andrews hopes to make a difference for not only local students, but schools across the state through the advisory council.
“I believe in America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education," Andrew said. "My work in the soybean and biotech arena has convinced me of the future need for continuing science and math research by our high school graduates in the genetics and products is needed to keep America in the lead to feed an ever-growing and hungry world.”
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is a new program that gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their rural community to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. The Monsanto Fund will award 199 grants this year. There will be 177 $10,000 grants and 22 grants of $25,000 awarded. Visit to see a complete list of eligible states and regions. Grants will be awarded based on merit, need and community support. Overall, the Monsanto Fund will donate more than $2.3 million to school districts in 39 states through this program.
The program was piloted in 165 eligible counties in Minnesota and Illinois, in which more than 11,000 farmers nominated their schools. The Monsanto Fund donated more than $266,000 in total to local school districts in nine CRDs in Illinois and seven CRDs in Minnesota in 2011.
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, to support farming communities. Visit for a complete listing of school districts, counties and more information about America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education.

About Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work.  Visit the Monsanto Fund at


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