READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 20th…

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NCBA Releases Price Discovery Proposal

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association released its proposal over the weekend for voluntary cattle market price discovery. In a letter to NCBA members, NCBA President Marty Smith says the proposal “lays out a plan to increase negotiated trade and incentivize each of the major packers’ participation in such negotiated trade.” An NCBA working group came up with the report, “A Voluntary Framework to Achieve Price Discovery in the Fed Cattle Market.” The framework explains in detail what the organization calls the “75 Percent Plan,” which is designed to provide negotiated trade and packer participation benchmarks for the industry to strive toward. Smith says the plan seeks to achieve no less than 75 percent of the weekly negotiated trade volume that current academic literature indicates is necessary for “robust” price discovery in a specific region, among other thresholds. In the event that defined triggers are tripped in any two out of four rolling quarters, the Subgroup will recommend that NCBA pursue a legislative or regulatory solution to compel robust price discovery.

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Meat Institute Calls for Mandatory Labeling of Cell-Based Products

Two meat industry groups urge the Department of Agriculture to support mandatory labeling of cell-based/cultured meat and poultry products. The Meat Institute and the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation penned the request in a letter to USDA Monday. The groups also call on USDA to solicit input on what that labeling should look like through an Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking. Under a joint framework for regulation of cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood products, the two agencies will work together to ensure the safety and labeling of cell-based/cultured meat and poultry products. Among other provisions of the framework, FSIS will have oversight of cell-based/cultured meat and poultry labeling, as it does for all meat and poultry sold in the United States. The FDA will oversee cell-based/cultured seafood labeling, as it does for most seafood sold in the United States. In a recent public presentation, the agencies committed to joint principles for product labeling and labeling claims.

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NPPC Seeks Immediate COVID-19 Relief

The National Pork Producers Council calls for immediate relief for the nation’s hog farmers. U.S. hog farmers are facing $5 billion in collective pandemic-related losses this year following two challenging years due to trade retaliation. NPPC President Howard AV Roth says, “We’ve lost hog farmers of all sizes due to the COVID pandemic and need additional relief to preserve a highly competitive pork production system.” Without further assistance, Roth says, “we will lose more hog farmers and see our farm sector consolidate.” Among the provisions NPPC is seeking, they include compensation for euthanized and donated hogs. Additionally, the organization asks for modification of the Commodity Credit Corporation charter so a pandemic-driven national emergency qualifies for funding. The organization also seeks additional funds for direct payments to producers without restriction, and an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program with modifications to make it accessible to more producers. NPPC also calls for additional funding for animal health surveillance and laboratories, which have appropriately assisted and shared resources with their public health partners.

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National Grange Urges FDA to be Innovative in Vaccine Distribution

The National Grange wants the Food and Drug Administration to consider “any and all” delivery options of a COVID-19 vaccine for rural Americans and farmworkers. In a letter to the FDA, the organization says, “we believe that innovative options such an oral vaccine in pill form should be pursued.” The organization suggested mail delivery of vaccines to rural Americans to ensure quick and easy access once a vaccine is available. Rural America faces a shortage of healthcare providers, as the organization cites a national study reported in 2019. The study found that there are only 12 doctors per 10,000 people in rural America versus more than twice that number, 29.6 per 10,000, in urban areas. Moreover, the study forecast a 23 percent decline in the number of rural physicians over the next decade as current doctors retire. According to the organization, those statistics, coupled with the fact that over 100 rural hospitals have closed in the last decade, further complicate the health care access situation in rural America.

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Rodale Institute Investment to Increase Land Access for Organic Farmers

Rodale Institute Monday announced a $2 million investment to provide organic and regenerative farmers land security through long-term leases and mortgages. Through a partnership with the Iroquois (err-re-coy) Valley Farmland Real Estate Investment Trust, Rodale Institute will use money from its endowment fund to increase land access for organic farmers across the country and boost organic acreage, a core tenet of Rodale Institute’s mission. Rodale Institute has been researching the benefits of regenerative organic agriculture for over 70 years. Despite the organic market reaching $55 billion in the U.S. in 2019, only one percent of U.S. farmland is certified organic. Iroquois Valley seeks to break down those barriers by purchasing farmland and entering into a lease agreement or underwriting a mortgage for organic farmers looking to start or expand their operation. Rodale Institute’s investment allows Iroquois Valley to purchase more land, offer those resources to farmers nationwide, and provide the organization with “more stability” in its investment portfolio.

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January Sheep Industry Convention Goes Virtual

The American Sheep Industry Association Executive Board last week opted to plan a virtual event rather than in person in January 2021.  The ASI Annual Convention was scheduled for January 27-30 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. However, state and local COVID-19 restrictions on social distancing made meeting room capacity an issue. Additionally, safety concerns would have meant some directors would not attend in person, therefore a much more expensive hybrid version of in-person and virtual would have been needed. ASI’s contract with the hotel has been rolled back to the next open convention dates in 2024. While the ASI officers and staff will gather in Denver to present a two-day event during the last week in January, all other attendance at the convention will be virtual. In addition, there will be no annual awards in 2021, as the executive board felt the virtual format would not allow for a proper celebration of those winners.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.