National Ag News for June 10, 2022

Biden Nominates McKalip to Ag Trade Post

President Biden will nominate Doug McKalip as the U.S. Trade Representative’s next chief agricultural negotiator. McKalip is a longtime USDA advisor and expert in agriculture and trade. The nominee has served as the senior advisor to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack on trade, national security, and animal and plant health regulations since March 2021. Reuters says U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai calls McKalip a highly-qualified nominee with decades of experience in public service. “His institutional knowledge of USDA spans multiple administrations, from leading different offices to serving as a trusted adviser to Secretary Vilsack,” Tai says, “and he will help us continue the close collaboration between our agencies that’s enabled a lot of success.” The chief ag negotiator directs USTR’s negotiations aimed at boosting U.S. farm exports, such as the recent agreement allowing more American beef exports to flow into Japan. McKalip is in year 28 of working with the USDA.

Groups, Officials React Positively to McKalip Nomination

Many of agriculture’s leading groups and officials are reacting positively to the expected nomination of Doug McKalip to be the chief agricultural negotiator with the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. McKalip has been a key agriculture policy official for three decades, and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that makes him a great choice for the post. The U.S. Grains Council says McKalip will be able to use his strong background in farm and trade policy and his knowledge of biotechnology to advance U.S. global trade priorities. American Soybean Association CEO Stephen Censky says, “Doug understands the challenges facing agriculture, and we’re glad to have his expertise added to the USTR team.” Brian Kuehl of Farmers for Free Trade says McKalip is “well prepared for fighting for the needs of our nation’s farm and food interests.” The National Corn Growers Association is also pleased to see this nomination in place, as is the National Milk Producers Federation.

Commodity Classic Names New Show Director

Commodity Classic announced that Maureen Feck is the new Show Director and begins her new position on July 1. She comes to Commodity Classic from the True Value Company, where she was the Senior Director of Meetings and Events. In her prior role, Feck worked in the hardware and tools industry and grew attendance in bi-annual, city-wide conventions by 18 percent over two years. She developed events that are strategically focused on creating positive experiences for the people in attendance. Feck brings more than 15 years of hands-on event, communications, and management experience. She’ll play an integral role in the continued growth and innovation of agriculture’s premier trade and educational show. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in communications from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Her first Commodity Classic in the new role is scheduled for March 9-11, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. For more information on the event, go to

Another Billion-Dollar Month for Beef Exports

The U.S. Meat Export Federation says U.S. beef exports maintained a remarkable pace in April, surpassing $1 billion for the third time in 2022. Beef exports totaled just over 124,400 metric tons in April, three percent higher than last year and the fifth-largest total on record, Export values soared 33 percent higher than last year to $1.05 billion. That trails only the record $1.07 billion total from March. “Global demand for U.S. beef continues to overcome enormous obstacles like inflationary pressures, logistical challenges, and recent lockdowns in China,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. April pork exports totaled 212,800 metric tons, 21 percent less than the large volume reported last year. Pork export value dropped 20 percent from a year ago to just over $600 million. Exports to top destination Mexico continue to run strong while a sharp decline in Chinese demand weighs on the market. April lamb exports increased 37 percent from 2021.

USDA Releases Poultry Tournament Rule

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service released its long-awaited proposed changes to regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act regarding the U.S. poultry industry. The changes include a list of disclosures and information live poultry dealers must furnish to poultry growers and sellers with whom the dealers make poultry-growing arrangements. “The proposal would establish additional disclosure requirements in connection with the use of poultry grower ranking systems to live poultry dealers to determine settlement payments for poultry growers,” says AMS. “The proposals are intended to promote transparency in poultry production contracting and give poultry growers and prospective poultry growers relevant information to help them make business decisions.” The Hagstrom Report says comments on the rule and other information collection aspects of it must get received by August 8. A National Chicken Council spokesman says the group is still evaluating the rule and its potential impact on the industry, but they will comment on the proposal.

Minnesota Farm is New U.S. Wheat Associates Chair

Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, started her term as Chair of the U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors on June 8 at the group’s annual meeting in Bend, Oregon. Michael Peters of Oklahoma is the new Vice-Chair, Clark Hamilton is the Secretary-Treasurer, and Darren Padget will serve for one year as the Past Chair. USW is the market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry. “I want to thank the entire wheat family for their support,” Larson said to the board of directors. “We heard a lot here about the challenges we face, but with your help, I look forward to representing wheat farmers in overseas markets.” She will represent growers at the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, June 12-15. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years, serving as chair from 2010 to 2012.


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker 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.