News Headlines

WLIC TO HOST RFID EDUCATIONAL EVENT FOR PRODUCERS — January 23, 2012

VERONA, WI – On December 13, 2011 plans to host an educational event for producers was presented to the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium’s Board of Directors and membership. This first of its kind educational event will be focused around RFID technology and educating producers who are interested in learning more about this rapidly progressing technology.

Done in partnership with UW-Extension and UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, this educational event will be held on March 6, 2012 at the Comfort Inn and Suites in DeForest, WI from 9 am until 2 pm. The event will feature guest speakers, including a producer panel to help answer producer questions. In addition to presentations, an invitation has been extended to all WLIC members, and companies directly related to RFID technology to have a tabletop at this event. Participating members and companies that have a tabletop will be available all day to also answer any questions that producers may have.

Topics such as: An Introduction to Electronic Identification; On-Farm use of Electronic Identification, What Do You Need to Know; Working With Your Veterinarian Using Electronic ID and Your Record Management System; and finally, What Do I Need to Know Before I Start Buying, will all be covered at this event. This event will be open for the public to attend and free of charge for producers.

The number of tabletops is limited, therefore, reservations will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve your tabletop for WLIC’s Educational Event, email cwiese@wiid.org. For more information on this educational event, call 888-808-1910 or send information requests to info@wiid.org.

The mission of the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium is to create a secure livestock identification system to protect animal health and market access, and to offer opportunities that enhance the marketability of Wisconsin livestock products. Representing more than fifty businesses, organizations and livestock producer associations, WLIC draws upon the collective strength of its diverse membership to help strengthen and advance animal disease traceability in Wisconsin and the nation as a whole. To learn more about WLIC visit www.wiid.org.

 

Midwest Dairy & Beef Husbandry Conference Coming to Madison — December 19, 2011
News Release — Wisconsin Ag Connection

A group of agricultural agencies and private companies in Wisconsin are putting their resources together to hold the 2012 Midwest Dairy & Beef Husbandry Conference early next year. The event takes place March 1 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Organizers say the care and well being of cattle in the state is important to consumers and farmers alike, and that the forum will help producers improve the care of their cattle and gain a better understanding on the consumers point of view.

Some of the topics being discussed at the meeting include lameness and cow comfort, pain management for livestock, dehorning methods, caring for compromised cattle, castration techniques, dairy beef residues, and a live dairy cattle handling demonstration.

There will also be a producer panel on boosting consumer confidence in the animal agriculture industry.

Supporters of the program include the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Animart, Equity Cooperative, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Priefert, University of Wisconsin-Extension and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

For more information on the Midwest Dairy & Beef Husbandry Conference or to sign-up, call 608-328-9440.

 

White Paper Addresses Use of Antibiotics in Food Animals — December 2, 2011

News Release — National Institue for Animal Agriculture 

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Antibiotic use in food-animal production is the focus of a White Paper recently released by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA). The White Paper is a summary of science-based information delivered by the 13 human health and animal health speakers and symposium participants at the “Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for Common Purpose” symposium in Chicago, Oct. 26-27.

“Critics and proponents of the use of antibiotics in livestock have conflicting views on the correct interpretation of the body of evidence related to agricultural use of antibiotics and the development of resistant organisms,” states Dr. Len Bull, chairman of the symposium. “This White Paper, written in laymen terms, will help individuals understand what the science shows to date and why each of us have a responsibility toward achieving the unified goal of ‘One Health: Healthy People, Healthy Animals, Healthy Food’.”

The White Paper provides science-based information regarding the use of antibiotics in food-animal production, human health implications relative to antibiotic use and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in livestock. A significant portion of the White Paper addresses the controversial topic of antimicrobial resistance. Citing that antimicrobial resistance is not a black-and-white issue, the White Paper notes that “the ultimate priority about antibiotic use going forward is the development of well-established, science-based criterion in the regulatory decision-making process.”

The message to the livestock and poultry industries is plain and simple: Remain focused on disease prevention and continual improvement of good animal husbandry practices.

Individuals can access the White Paper, as well as the symposium speakers’ PowerPoint presentations with synchronized audio, online at www.animalagriculture.org. The White Paper can also be obtained by calling NIAA at 719.538.8843. 

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is a non-profit, membership-driven organization that unites and advances animal agriculture — the beef, dairy, equine, goat, poultry, sheep and swine industries. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work toward the eradication of diseases that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and animal well-being.  Members of NIAA include livestock producers, producer organizations, veterinarians, scientists, state and federal officials, and agribusiness executives.

  

ANIMART, Inc., and Pfizer Animal Health Partner to Donate $36,527 to Wisconsin FFA Foundation — November 22, 2011

More Than $3.6 Million Donated Nationally Through the Program Since 2008

ANIMART, Inc., owners Dr. James and Ruth Metz partnered with Pfizer Animal Health to contribute $36,527 to the Wisconsin FFA Foundation in 2011, offering support and resources to 249 local chapters and nearly 18,000 students.

“We are proud to have offered large animal clients and producers a program to support the Wisconsin FFA Foundation through their purchases of Pfizer Animal Health products,” says Ruth Metz, co-owner of ANIMART. “ANIMART, through our clients, is pleased to help FFA chapters across Wisconsin develop tomorrow’s future agriculture leaders.”

Offering added support to organizations like FFA is important to ANIMART because many of the 60 employees within its large animal division are former FFA members. ANIMART provided the support through the Pfizer Animal Health FFA Support Program where participating veterinarians and retail partners were able to direct the funds from a portion of their purchases of select Pfizer Animal Health cattle products to any local FFA chapter(s) or the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Foundation – Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund. Since its inception in 2008, the total amount donated through the FFA and AABP Foundation Support Program nationwide has been more than $3.6 million.

The Wisconsin FFA Foundation allocated the funds to further develop programs that encourage and support leadership throughout all chapters at a state and local level. By spreading the funds across multiple activities, the foundation is able to offer additional opportunities at the state convention and leadership conference as well as provide livestock proficiency awards to an elite group of students who developed specialized skills in the area.

 “This support has been the backbone of year-to-year funding for our programs,” says Nicole Nelson, executive director, Wisconsin FFA Foundation. “ANIMART has been great to work with and helped us identify where their interests and our needs overlap.” 

 About Pfizer Animal Health: Pfizer Animal Health, a business of Pfizer Inc., is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines, investing an estimated $300 million annually in animal health product research and development. For more information about how Pfizer Animal Health works to ensure a safe, sustainable global food supply from healthy livestock and poultry; or helps companion animals and horses to live longer, healthier lives, visit www.PfizerAH.com

About ANIMART: Established in 1982 and headquartered in Beaver Dam, Wis., ANIMART, Inc. is a privately held provider of animal health and veterinary products as well as show equipment for dairy and livestock producers.  ANIMART is committed to offering a full line of products and solutions to help dairy and livestock businesses succeed. More information about the company and its products can be accessed at www.animart.com

Click here for a photo of ANIMART presenting the donation to the Wisconsin FFA Foundation.

 

 

Farm Bureau, FFA Foundation Oppose Drastic Changes to Youth Farm Labor Rules — November 19, 2011

News Release — Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation® Website link: click here

 MADISON – The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin FFA Foundation oppose proposed regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor that would greatly limit the ability of youth to work on farms.

 “These changes threaten to dramatically change the face of the family farm,” said Bill Bruins, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President.

 The regulations would change existing ‘hazardous occupation’ categories and prohibit youth from performing certain tasks unless they are working solely under the control of their parent or guardian.

 “The proposal exhibits a lack of acknowledgement of the many benefits and merits of youth working in agriculture,” said Karen Gefvert, Farm Bureau’s Director of Governmental Relations. “From actual hands-on learning, many youth develop advanced skills that lead to them becoming productive and engaged members of society.”

 “These proposed rules are a clear example of agency overreach and exhibit a lack of understanding for enhanced safety practices and equipment upgrades found in modern day agriculture,” Gefvert added. “We also note that the Department of Labor’s narrow definition of a family farm does not recognize multi-family partnerships and other modern farm business structures. Their omission would stop youth from working on farms that belong to their grandparents or any farm where there parent is not the sole owner or operator.”

 The Wisconsin FFA Foundation shares concerns with the Farm Bureau as to how the proposed changes could effectively eliminate ‘supervised agricultural experiences’ that thousands of Wisconsin youth participate in annually through FFA projects.

 As a result, both the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and Wisconsin FFA Foundation will be sending official comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Baring any further extensions, all comments are due by December 1. Both organizations encourage farmers and parents to submit their own comments.”

 “We need individuals and organizations to speak up and let regulators know that parents and farmers are best suited to teach youth how to safely and responsibly work on farms. Comments from parents who want their children to have safe, on-farm work experiences would be extremely persuasive in bringing balance to this discussion,” said Nicole Nelson, Executive Director of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation.

 A link to make online comments to the Department of Labor can be found at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s website, wfbf.com

 The changes are reportedly being proposed due to safety concerns and to more closely align a long-standing separation between youth labor standards in agriculture and non-agriculture.

 The newly defined hazardous occupations include operating tractors or other power-driven equipment such as lawn mowers or stationary equipment such as hoists. The proposed regulations would also prohibit work with non-castrated animals older than six months, sows with suckling pigs or a cow with a newborn calf. An additional prohibition will be with handling animals in a situation in which the animal’s behavior may be unpredictable, such as with giving vaccinations, dehorning or breeding. 

If the regulations are adopted, children under 16 will no longer be allowed to work inside any fruit, forage or grain storage silo or bin. The planting, cultivating and harvesting of tobacco would also be prohibited.  

“The proposal also aims to end working at heights that are over 6 feet above another elevation,” Gefvert added. “This restriction is both unreasonable and unfounded. What does this mean for working in hay lofts, ladders and simple tasks such as changing a light bulb or checking fill levels in bins?”

In addition to the restrictions on farm, individuals under age 18 will not be allowed to work in jobs that come into contact with farm-product raw materials. Those jobs include working at grain elevators, stockyards and livestock auctions unless the work is solely in an office and does not involve handling of farm products.

“We support the rights of parents to have discretion when it comes to the capabilities and limitations of their child’s activities on farms,” Gefvert said. “These proposals will not only deny invaluable real world experiences for youth interested in agriculture, but they also set up one more barrier to a labor-intensive industry that struggles to attract a trained workforce.”

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