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News Update

May 2, 2012

Congratulations to the Winners

It's always nice to see our Angus producers recognized. Congratulations to Leo McDonell (Pioneer Award), Brian McCulloh, Tom Field and Larry Olson (Continuing Service Awards) for winning their prestigious awards at the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) symposium in Houston April 18-21! Check out their bios and award photos at

You'll find other conference highlights, including presentation summaries, PowerPoints and proceedings in the Newsroom at

UK Wheat Field Day is Fast Approaching

Members of the University of Kentucky (UK) Wheat Science Group will discuss important and timely topics related to wheat production during their annual field day. This year's wheat field day is from 8:30 a.m. until noon CDT, Tuesday, May 15, at the UK Research Farm in Princeton.

Wheat specialists in the UK College of Agriculture will discuss the following topics:

Continuing education credits are available for pesticide applicators for one specific and two general hours in categories 1A, 10, 12 and 14. Certified Crop Advisors can receive 3.5 continuing education units in the following categories: 1.5 in integrated pest management and one each in nutrient management and crop management.

The Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association will provide a free lunch.
The UK Research Farm in Princeton is located at 1134 Hopkinsville St. For more information, contact Dottie Call, coordinator of the UK Wheat Science Group, at 270-365-7541, ext. 234 or

OIG: FSIS Appropriately Addresses Industry Appeals
of Humane Handling Enforcement Actions

The USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported May 1 that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) appropriately handles industry appeals of its humane-handling enforcement actions. An audit was performed at the request of the Office of Food Safety to ensure that FSIS was appropriately enforcing federal humane handling laws.

OIG published positive findings, and made no formal recommendations for FSIS.

"The OIG determination shows that FSIS' enforcement of humane handling regulations, as well as its appeals process, is fair and consistent," Undersecretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen said. "As OIG noted, FSIS has taken many steps to improve its inspectors' understanding of humane handling requirements and the tools they have to ensure the humane handling of livestock."

The audit of the agency's performance is among several measures FSIS announced in December 2010 that it was undertaking to better ensure the humane treatment and slaughter of all livestock presented for processing at FSIS-inspected facilities. Since the December 2010 announcement, FSIS has taken the following measures to improve FSIS verification and enforcement of federal humane handling laws:

FSIS has also increased the transparency of its enforcement of federal humane-handling laws. FSIS began publishing a new Humane Handling Quarterly Report, which includes all noncompliance records issued for inhumane handling, as well as the time spent by employees on humane-handling verification activities. FSIS has also begun posting redacted notices of enforcement actions taken against establishments that have been found in violation of federal humane-handling laws.

Finally, in order to maximize industry compliance with humane-handling laws, FSIS published a final compliance guide on voluntary in-plant video monitoring to assist meat and poultry establishments that want to improve operations by verifying livestock humane-handling and poultry good commercial practices.

The audit report can be found on OIG's website at

140 FFA Chapters Receive FFA: Food for All Grants

The National FFA Organization has awarded $330,000 in grant money for the FFA: Food For All program. The program provides funding to support yearlong, service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, develop and implement solutions to identified needs in their school or community as part of their curriculum.

The FFA: Food For All program provided up to $2,500 to 140 chapters in 41 states to assist local chapters with their programs. All of the projects will rely on FFA members for implementation. In addition to providing food for local residents in need, FFA members will provide helpful information regarding the care, preparation and preservation of food.

FFA: Food For All Grants are sponsored by Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. To find a participating FFA chapter in your area, visit

Applications Now Available for Advocacy 2.0
Farmer Social Media Training

The third-annual Agvocacy 2.0 application for the 2012 social media training conference is now available. The two-day event will explore how farmers can effectively share agriculture's message using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, blogs and mobile applications.

The Agvocacy 2.0 conference will take place Aug. 23-24, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Kansas City, Mo. Exciting features of the conference include:

"Graduates from Agvocacy 2.0 are making a significant impact in telling the agricultural story to consumers in the places where social communities are forming," says Darin Grimm, president of the AgChat Foundation. "The prospect of equipping more individuals with the skills they need to successfully share their message is really exciting."

The application is available for those interested in attending. Up to 75 people representing all sectors of agriculture will be invited to participate, with priority given to farmers and ranchers. Agvocacy 2.0 was completely sold out in 2010 and 2011, so interested applicants should apply early.

For 2010 and 2011 Agvocacy 2.0 graduates, the AgChat Foundation is accepting up to 25 returning attendees who also endorse a first-time applicant. This will allow for collaboration between those with beginner and advanced social media skill sets.

A memorial scholarship has been established to honor the life of AgChat Foundation board member Chris Raines and his work to educate consumers about meat production and science through social media. Two applications to the AgChat Foundation Agvocacy 2.0 Conference will be selected to receive a $250 scholarship to use toward registration fees. The recipients will be selected based on their involvement in the meat science industry.

For more information about Agvocacy 2.0 and the AgChat Foundation, visit


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