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News Update

June 4, 2012

Applicants Sought for ASA/DuPont Young Leader Program

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, are seeking applicants for the 2013 Young Leader Program. The Young Leader Program is recognized throughout agriculture for its longstanding tradition of identifying and cultivating the producer-leaders who are shaping the U.S. soybean industry. 2013 marks the 29th year of the program.

"The Young Leader Program is an exceptional leadership training program," said ASA President Steve Wellman. "The knowledge gained from this program can be put to use immediately — not only in business, but personally, as well. Soybean producers who are looking to take on future leadership roles at the state and/or national level should pursue this training as the first step on their journey."

The 2013 class of Young Leaders and their spouses will participate in a challenging and educational leadership experience Nov. 27-30, 2012, at Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, and Feb. 26-March 2, 2013, in Kissimmee, Fla., coinciding with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show.

This program offers the opportunity for participants to enhance their leadership skills, as well as meet and learn from other young leaders from around the country.

Applications will be accepted starting June 1. Interested applicants should apply online at Additionally, all ASA members will receive an application brochure in their June ASA Today member newsletter.

Applications will be accepted until Oct. 1, 2012. ASA, its 26 state affiliates, including the Grain Farmers of Ontario, and Pioneer will work together to identify the top producers to represent their state as part of this program. One couple or individual per state will be chosen to participate.

For questions or to obtain a hard copy application, please contact Michelle Siegel, ASA leadership & corporate program manager at 314-754-1328 or

Nutrition Experts Meet in Kansas City to Connect Food, Farm and Science

The Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska beef councils recently hosted "A Nutrition Adventure: Connecting Food, Farm and Science" for 43 key dietitians from Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, New York, Minnesota, Washington, Utah, Kentucky, California and Florida. These health professionals gathered in Kansas City, Kan., May 23-25 to participate in a seminar designed to explore the nutritional benefits of beef.

"This event is a unique opportunity for influential dietitians to embrace beef nutrition, production and research from experts within the beef community," said Kaity Holtman, director of communications for the Missouri Beef Industry Council, and one of the coordinators of the event.

During this three-day seminar, scientific, culinary and consumer research experts led dietitians through beef, from pasture to plate.

On the first day, the dietitians learned about beef and nutrition and how the carcass is broken down into the cuts they find in their grocery stores and restaurants. They then participated in a cooking competition where they all grilled, sautéed or pan-broiled steaks and chose from a wide selection of pantry items at Sysco in Olathe, Kan. That evening they enjoyed a beef and wine pairing class at Pierpont's at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo.

For more information and the full release, visit

Two Bulls in SW Iowa Positive for Trichomoniasis

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today, June 4, said that two bulls in southwest Iowa have tested positive for trichomoniasis, a venereal disease in cattle. Bovine trichomoniasis is a reportable disease in Iowa. There are no clinical signs of illness in the bulls, but it can be spread to cows and causes infertility.

The Department will issue an order of quarantine for the facility where the disease was found. The quarantine will remain in place until further testing confirms the disease is no longer present in the herd.

This is the first known case of the disease in Iowa, but there have been more than 200 cases in Missouri.

Farmers buying bulls are encouraged to make sure the animals are tested for the disease before being introduced into the herd or to purchase virgin bulls.

SDCA Applauds Legislation to Preserve Prairies

South Dakota's Rep. Kristi Noem joined Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota to introduce the Preserve our Prairies Act. Also known as Sod Saver, this legislation will encourage the conservation of native grassland, an important issue for the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (SDCA).

"We appreciate Rep. Noem and Walz's efforts to lead on this commonsense measure," said Jeff Smeenk, president of the SDCA. "Cattlemen across the state understand the importance of preserving our grasslands and providing grazing opportunities for our producers."

The legislation is identical to the provision included by Senator John Thune in the Farm Bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee. While the Preserve our Prairies Act won't prevent producers from making their own land-use decisions, it will limit short-term price supports for marginal land in an era when budget deficits continue to plague Washington.

"Saving taxpayers' money while preserving our native prairie is a win-win for South Dakota's beef producers, and we appreciate Sen. Thune's and Rep. Noem's hard work to provide a solution for the Farm Bill that benefits not only cattlemen, but wildlife and conservation efforts in our state," said Smeenk.

NFU Supports Grain Sorghum as an Advanced Biofuel

National Farmers Union (NFU) applauds the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent publication of data concerning biofuels produced from grain sorghum under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.

"This announcement by EPA is a step in the right direction," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "U.S. farmers can create an opportunity to make a tremendous positive impact on the environment by producing advanced biofuel from grain sorghum."

In 2007, Congress passed the Renewable Fuels Standard 2 (RFS2), which requires the production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022 from both conventional and advanced sources of biofuel. NFU policy encourages full implementation of the RFS2 and requires any revisions to be based on the best available science subject to public review.

"NFU policy supports the increased usage of renewable fuels, as it will increase domestic demand for surplus farm commodities, lower federal outlays of federal farm subsidies and decrease our reliance on foreign oil," said Johnson. "It will also create vital opportunities in rural communities across the nation, which might otherwise not be realized."

NFU will submit comments to the EPA supporting the approval of grain sorghum for use as an advanced biofuel.

FDA Appeals Mandate to Ban Three Animal Antibiotics

After a magistrate judge ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must act on its long-standing proposal to ban the use of three antibiotics in animal feed because they may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, FDA is appealing the decision.

In a notice, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine Bernadette Dunham and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius together filed an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the March decision.

The ruling came after a coalition of five nonprofit organizations filed a suit demanding that FDA take action on an announcement it made 35 years earlier in 1977 that it would ban the use of penicillin and two types of tetracycline in animal feed in light of evidence that this practice was contributing to antibiotic-resistant strains of human pathogens.

If upheld, the decision would mandate FDA follow through with drug company hearings that it must conduct in order to determine whether these drugs are indeed a threat to human health. If the antibiotics are found to be dangerous to humans, FDA must see that they are withdrawn from the market for use in animal feed.


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