• T.J. Burnham

    Sacramento Precision Ag Show No Place for the Novice

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on July 30, 2014

    It cost my company plenty to send me to the 12th International Conference on Precision Agriculture in Sacramento in July, and I was plenty excited about getting a million good story leads and articles. What happened to me might be a warning to farmers attending PA events: make sure they're tuned to your level of understanding  and not strictly offering a high-mind scientific menu of talks that probably only the audience made up of mostly researchers could grasp. I blame myself for…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Pork Industry Pressing On In Fight Against PEDV

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on June 14, 2014

    The 2014 World Pork Expo wrapped up last week after three days of educational seminars, discussions on hot industry topics, swine shows, and ample amounts of tasty pork at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. At last year's Expo, one of the key topics, the emergence of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDV in the U.S. swine herd, was just showing up on the radar for pork producers and ag journalists alike, myself included. A year later, industry officials, veterinarians, and…

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  • Tom Bechman

    USDA's Major Announcement on PEDV Swine Disease Will Affect Indiana

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 9, 2014

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week announced more than $26 million in aid to help combat PEDV, the swine disease affecting most of the country. Part of the funding will help develop new vaccines, while some of it will help affected producers adopt biosecurity measures to help prevent re-infection. Unfortunately, re-infection has already been reported in some herds. The situation is serious enough that swine going to market could be down 10% this year by USDA estimates. One…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    PEDV Dominates Discussion At World Pork Expo

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on June 8, 2014

    I visited the World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines this week for only two hours. But no matter who you talked to or conversations you overheard, the topic that kept coming up was PEDV—Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. During the past year this devastating disease (new to the U.S.) has killed an estimated 7 to 8 million baby pigs nationwide. It has spread like wildfire through many hog herds since first showing up in this country in May 2013. That's when it was…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Remembering Two Who Gave A Lot To Iowa's Livestock Producers

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 21, 2014

    Iowa's livestock industry has lost two veterinarians, civil servants, university professors, experts in their fields and commonsense industry voices on livestock issues with the recent deaths of Dr. Scott Hurd and Dr. Jim McKean. They were faculty members of Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Hurd died March 27 at the age of 58. McKean died April 10 at the age of 67. Beyond the devastating loss to their family and friends, they will be greatly missed by the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Opportunities Raising Pigs

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on February 25, 2014

    There was a time, not that long ago, when nearly every farm in our neighborhood raised pigs. We all had a few sows and either sold feeder pigs or finished out what we raised. This was only 15 years ago. Times have changed. It’s tough these days to be raising pigs, but the fact is, there are great opportunities down the road. At the Nebraska Pork Producers Association Pork Industry Day in Norfolk last week, every producer I talked with was concerned deeply about PED virus. Mike…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    The Meat Racket

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 24, 2014

    The question of whether vertical integration in the poultry and swine industries, and packer concentration in the beef industry, is good or bad is a moot point. It’s how we do business today and it is here to stay. But you might like the new book, “The Meat Racket,” by Christopher Leonard. It’s about how Tyson Foods was founded and how it grew. What I like best about the book are the stories about the farmers — especially John Tyson, who founded the company. He…

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  • Tyler Harris

    County Fair Gives Rural and Urban Youth a Look At Production Ag

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on July 30, 2013

    The past few weeks have been county fair time for communities across the U.S. This includes small towns and bigger cities like Kansas City. Platte County, Missouri, where I live, is made up in part by Kansas City's outer limits in the southern corner. The northern part is made up of rolling hills where most of the state's burley tobacco crop is grown, and is dominated by pastures – mostly with horses. According to the Platte County Fair's website, early settlers in…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Effort to Change Name of Swine Disease Uphill Battle

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on July 22, 2013

    Commodity groups do tremendous things in Indiana. The new Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fair designed, built, paid for and staffed by the Indiana Soybean Alliance is a great example. Urban visitors who buy the food you produce will have the opportunity to learn what modern agriculture is like, and do it in a fun way. However, some efforts various groups within the industry make find them fighting an uphill battle. Trying to rename the swine disease known commonly as 'swine flu…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Swine Shows On The Rise

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on June 14, 2013

    As many know, last week was the 25th Anniversary of the World Pork Expo, which I made the trip up from Kansas City to attend. While the Expo is known for its PORK Academy and business seminars, numerous pork products, and over 400 exhibitors from across the globe, what has also risen in popularity is the Expo's Junior National Show. This is following a national trend. I'll admit my background is fairly limited. It wasn't until l lived in eastern Iowa, near Washington County…

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