AgDay Daily Recap - April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011 09:18 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
APRIL 22, 2011

CALF CRUELTY:
GOOD MORNING. LAW ENFORCEMENT IN CASTRO COUNTRY TEXAS IS INVESTIGATING A DAIRY CALF OPERATION FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY. THIS AFTER AN UNDERCOVER VIDEO SURFACED SHOWING SICK CALVES BEING BLUDGENED TO DEATH AND THE BODIES STACKED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. THE UNDERCOVER VIDEO SHOT AND RELEASE BY MERCY FOR ANIMALS SHOWS WORKERS AT THE E-6 CATTLE COMPANY USING PICK AXES AND HAMMERS FOR EUTHANASIA. THE IMAGES INCLUDE BROKEN HOOVES, AND WORKERS KICKING AND STANDING ON THE ANIMALS. IT'S ENOUGH FOR THE SHERIFF TO OPEN AN INVESTIGATION OF THE HART TEXAS FACILITY. E-6 IS RESPONDING TO THE VIDEO--WHICH THE UNDERCOVER WORKER SHOT OVER TWO WEEKS IN MARCH. THEY SAY COLD WEATHER IN FEBRUARY LED TO AN INCREASE IN SICK ANIMALS AND WORKERS--NEWLY HIRED--WEREN'T GIVEN PROPER TRAINING. THE OPERATION'S OWNER SAYS HE TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENED. HE SAYS, QUOTE "EVERY PART OF THAT VIDEO I FIND APPALLING. I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. I AM THE OWNER AND I HAVE DONE EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO ENSURE THAT THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN."

LINDSAY REACT:
AGRIBUSINESS DIRECTOR LINDSAY HILL JOINS US NOW WITH REACTION FROM AROUND THE INDUSTRY. LINDSAY WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?  CLINTON ONE THING IS FOR SURE, NO-ONE CONDONES THESE ACTIONS.  ANIMAL AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WERE QUICK TO SPEAK OUT. THE NATIONAL MILK PRODUCERS FEDERATION WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO RESPOND. THEY SAY, "ANY EVIDENCE OF ANIMAL ABUSE SHOULD BE TAKEN TO THE APPROPRIATE STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES WHOSE JOB IT IS TO INVESTIGATE THOSE CLAIMS, AND WHO CAN BETTER ADDRESS THE DEEPLY DISTURBING PRACTICES DEPICTED BY THIS VIDEO. ADDING, "WE AGREE THAT ANIMAL CRUELTY IS UNACCEPTABLE, REGARDLESS OF WHERE IT OCCURS."
THE AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOICATION AGREES. RESPECTED ANIMAL SCIENTIST AND CATTLE BEHAVIORIST TEMPLE GRANDIN IS QUOTED IN THE VIDEO AS SAYING IT'S OBVIOUS THE PEOPLE IN THE FOOTAGE HAVE NO REGARD FOR ANIMAL WELFARE. SHE HAS LONG BE A PROPONENT OF INCREASING TRANSPARENCY AT AMERICA'S LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS. TEMPLE SAYS IF YOU CAN'T SHOW IT TO YOUR WEDDING GUESTS YOU SHOULDN'T BE DOING IT. INCIDENTALLY, THE RELEASE OF THIS LATEST VIDEO COMES AS LAWMAKERS IOWA, FLORIDA AND MINNESOTA ARE CONSIDERING PROPOSALS THAT WOULD INSTITUTE CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR INDIVIDUALS CAUGHT PRODUCING UNDER COVER VIDEOS ON FARMS. CLINTON.

EPA IN IOWA:
THANKS LINDSAY. SWITCHING GEARS NOW, AFTER VISITING TWO IOWA FARMS ON TUESDAY, EPA ADMINISTRATOR LISA JACKSON SAID THERE APPEARS TO BE NO NEED TO PUT THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN ON A NUTRIENT RUN-OFF DIET IF FARMERS CONTINUE CONSERVATION MEASURES. JACKSON WAS INVITED BY AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK TO TOUR FARMS AND AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS TO SEE WHAT PRODUCERS ARE DOING. IT'S AN EFFORT TO BUILD A BETTER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EPA AND PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE. DURING THE TOUR JACKSON WAS ASKED IF SHE WAS GOING TO PURSUE A NUTRIENT DIET FOR THE MISSISSIPPI--SIMILAR TO THE ONE BEING PUSHED FOR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. VILSACK SAYS HE HOPES THE TOUR HELPS DEMONSTRATE AMERICAN FARMERS ARE--QUOTE--OUR FINEST CONSERVATIONISTS.

AG RESEARCH:
IN AGRIBUSINESS THIS MORNING, A GROUP OF THE COUNTRY'S BIGGEST AG COMPANIES SAY AG RESEARCH ISN'T GETTING ENOUGH ATTENTION.  THEY'RE CALLING FOR INCREASED FEDERAL FUNDING AND RESEARCH.  THIS COMES FROM THE GLOBAL HARVEST INITIATIVE, A GROUP MADE UP OF MONSANTO, DUPONT, JOHN DEERE AND ADM. THEY SAY AG AND FOOD RESEARCH IS TOTALLY INADEQUATE AND ON THE DECLINE. THE MEGA COMPANIES SAY THEY'RE AWARE OF FEDERAL BUDGET WOES, BUT STRESS THIS WORK SUPPORTS AGRICULTURE ACROSS THE GLOBE. RESEARCH AT THE COMPANY LEVEL IS FOCUSED ON SALES AND PROFITS WHILE GOVERNMENTAL WORK LOOKS AT THE BIG PICTURE AND NEGLECTED NEEDS ACCORDING TO THE INIATIVE.

ANALYSIS WTO:
IN OTHER NEWS, THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION REMAINS AS THE WORLD ARBITER IN TRADE MATTERS. ACCORDING TO OUR REPORTING PARTNERS AT PRO FARMER, THE NEXT ROUND OF W-T-O NEGOTIATIONS, CALLED THE DOHA DEVELOPMENT ROUND - CONTINUES TO BASICALLY FLOUNDER. THERE'S BEEN LITTLE PROGRESS IN RECENT YEARS IN TERMS OF TRYING TO NARROW THE GAPS THAT EXIST IN A NUMBER OF AREAS FOR THE FUTURE, NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS AGRICULTURE. DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, LIKE INDIA, ARE INSISTING ON GREATER ACCESS TO MARKETS THAT WEALTHIER COUNTRIES ENJOY. I TALKED WITH ALAN KEMPER, THE PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION, WHO JUST RETURNED FROM WTO HEADQUARTERS IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND WHERE HE RECEIVED AN UPDATE ON TRADE ISSUES AFFECTING U.S. FARMERS.

ANALYSIS:
ALAN KEMPER

IN THE COUNTRY; KENTUCKY SHEEP:
IT TAKES A LEAP OF FAITH FOR A PERSON TO TAKE A BUYOUT FROM THEIR JOB, BUY A FARM, A FEW SHEEP AND PLAN TO START A NEW CAREER. IN FACT THE KENTUCKY MAN WHO DID THAT WILL SOON OPEN THE FIRST SHEEP DAIRY IN THE STATE. THE DOTSON FAMILY CALLS IT A SPRITUAL UNDERTAKING AS THEY FELT LED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH THEIR LIVES. JEFF FRANKLIN WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY SHARES THE STORY. THANKS JEFF. JEFF SAYS SO FAR 64 PEOPLE HAVE ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITIES CHEESE MAKING SCHOOL.  THAT INCLUDES PEOPLE FROM STATES OUTSIDE OF KENTUCKY. FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT.

ALGAL FLOUR:
IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY THIS MORNING HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT DELICIOUS LOW FAT FOODS MADE FROM ALGAE. A COMPANY FROM SAN FRANCISCO IS TOUTING THE HEALTH BENEFITS AND TASTINESS OF ALGAL FLOUR. THE COMPANY SOLA-ZYME-ROQUETTE NUTRITIONALS SAYS THEIR ALGEA BASED FLOUR CAN REDUCE FAT BY AS MUCH AS 70%. ALGAL FLOUR IS HIGH IN LIPIDS MAKING THE TEXTURE OF THESE LOWER FAT FOODS COMPARABLE TO THEIR FULL FAT COUNTERPARTS. APPARENTLY THE PRODUCT IS CLOSER TO OLIVE OIL THAN IT IS TO FLOUR. THE COMPANY SEES IT BEING USED IN THINGS LIKE COOKIES, CRACKERS, SALAD DRESSINGS AND OF COURSE CHOCOLATE MILK.

FALLING SOYFOOD:
AND AN ARGUMENT IS GROWING IN THE SOYFOODS WORLD. ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM MIN-TEL, THE TWO AND A HALF BILLION DOLLAR SOY FOOD AND BEVERAGE MARKET SAW SALES SLUMP BY NEARLY 14% FROM 2008 TO 2010. IT'S PREDICTING THE TREND WILL CONTINUE ANOTHER 17%. THE REPORT CITES, SOY BURNOUT, COST BARRIERS AND ALERGIES. BUT SOY INGREDIENT MAKERS SAY PRODUCTS WITH SOY PROTEIN ARE ON THE RISE. THE LAUNCH RATE FOR NEW FOODS IS UP 170% IN THE LAST THREE YEARS. BEHIND THAT JUMP ARE NEW WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PRODUCTS.

CONTACT PAGE:
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